The New York Rangers are reporting that Dylan McIlrath will make his NHL debut tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets, taking the place of Justin Falk in the lineup.
Here's McIlrath on making his NHL debut (via Bergen Record)…
“Obviously I didn’t have the training camp I wanted,” added McIlrath, who will wear jersey No. 42. “I wanted to show that I could maybe step in right away. They sent me down and I came in with a positive attitude and just felt comfortable right away and started playing my game and it showed and I’m just happy to be here now. I just briefly talked with Ulfie (assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson) and went over some tactical things but they want me to play my game, that’s how I got here. Maybe in camp I was doing something I wasn’t but I just have to do what brought me here. Do that.
“There’s no surprise that’s the type of player I am and maybe that’s why they brought me up,” McIlrath continued, when asked if he expected to be tested early and often. “I add a little bit of that element. I’m not going to do anything out of the ordinary that’s in my game and it comes with grit and sandpaper so I’m hopefully going to do anything I can to help the team win. If it happens, it happens. Obviously the hockey community is a small world so everybody has got their scouting reports. Yeah it happened when I came to the AHL right away, I was tested early so we’ll see what happens.”
…i just went from being lukewarm about attending tonight's game to through the roof excited. Really looking forward to McIlrath providing some much needed toughness that has been absent from the Rangers lineup all season. I'm expecting to see McIlrath get about 12 minutes of ice time and hopefully at least one smackdown. My main concern tonight is that McIlrath comes out timid and doesn't infuse himself physically into the game.
…as far as the decision to make Falk the healthy scratch over Del Zotto, AV made the correct decision here. A pairing of Falk/McIlrath would have been a recipe for disaster. Wonder if we'll finally get to see the Del Zotto/McIlrath duo we all hoped would resemble Leetch-Buekeboom one day.
Meanwhile, Derrick Brassard, who missed yesterday's practice with a sore posterior, will miss tonight's game and is considered day-to-day.
With Ryan Callahan also out (knee), both Taylor Pyatt and Beniot Pouliot will return to the lineup.
…and just when I was feeling good about the McIlrath recall, this happens.
…i hate to see Miller continued to be yo-yo'd between Hartford and New York, but isn't recalling him and maybe even Kristo a better option than these two knuckleheads?
Henrik Lundqvist will get his fifth straight start tonight.
I also wanted to take a moment and give a shoutout to TopShelf Tix who allowed me to go to tonight's game by offering a great price on tickets. Check them out on Facebook or e-mail them firstname.lastname@example.org.