According to the Rangers, Cam Talbot will get his third start in four games tonight on Long Island.
Here's Henrik Lundqvist on the decision (via Blueshirts United)…
"It's not the first time I don't play back-to-back. We have a lot of games coming up here, so I listen to the coach. I feel pretty good, but it is a challenge to play back-to-backs and Talbot is playing the way he's playing so it might be a good decision to split (these two games)."
"That's my goal heading into this game, to give the guys a big lift and give them confidence back there. It's a big thing to have two goalies back there you can have confidence in, so the guys don't have to worry when Hank is not in there."
…a bit surprised, but I'm ok with Talbot getting the nod over Hank. AV said during his post game presser that he had already made the decision on his starting goaltender so this might have been the plan all along. Especially with Lundqvist coming off an injury and a heavy workload on the way.
…and I'm going to warn you guys right now, if the Rangers win, I better not hear one of you say Talbot should permanently replace Lundqvist or you'll be banned from the blog. Ok, you won't be banned, but you'll get a stern talking to because that is utter nonsense.
Meanwhile, Carl Hagelin, who took part in the morning skate and was, according to the Rangers roster, taken off of LTIR, says the plan is to take part in warmups and then Alain Vigneault will officially decide on whether he will be in the line-up…
"I am preparing myself to play," Hagelin said following the skate. "I think it's always frustrating to be on the sidelines, to be honest. You want to be out there to help the guys an you want to be a part of the team. It was frustrating, but at the same time I was able to get a lot of good work in. This is probably the strongest I have ever been."
…this team is in desperate need of a spark, so Hagelin is a must tonight. His speed should lead to much more puck possession, which AV's system needs to thrive.
Finally, despite providing absolutely zero on the ice other than undisciplined penalties, Taylor Pyatt will somehow remain in the line-up over Brandon Mashinter (via Bergen Record).
…it's not even that Pyatt isn't playing well, it's the perception that there's no accountability with this team. I don't understand how AV persists on sending Pyatt back out there when he continues to take stupid penalties.
…Mashinter would likely be a perfect fit in this game, which is always a physical affair. I have to wonder if he might have gotten dinged up in the Simmonds fight the other night as he hasn't seen the ice since.