A little gamesmanship from Alain Vigneault at today’s practice as he refused to confirm the Rangers Game 3 lineup.
However, there were a few hints dropped that lead most to believe Dan Carcillo will make his 2014 playoff debut tonight in his former stomping grounds.
Here’s Vigneault after this morning’s session (via Bergen Record) …
“Dan’s an experienced player, he brings energy to a team. He’s a hard, smart player. He goes to the tough areas and when he has an opportunity to lay a good, physical hit, he does that. With him in our lineup this year, we’ve had a very good record.”
Meanwhile Carcillo added this…
“I don’t really speak in hypotheticals so I have no idea what the lineup is. This time of the year, it’s definitely a man’s game and it’s a little rougher and that’s been the way I’ve played throughout my whole career so it would be nice to get in but, like I said before, I don’t know what the deal is.”
Both Carcillo and Jesper Fast, who would likely be the healthy scratch, exited the ice at the same time, but the veteran forward was seen having discussions with both Vigneault and Brad Richards during practice.
The Rangers are 19-9-3 with Carcillo in the lineup since he was acquired from the Kings on Jan. 4.
…i guess my choice of JT Miller isn’t an option tonight. While I don’t think Fast has necessarily done anything to hurt the Rangers the first two games of the series, I also don’t think he’s done enough to help them win.
…beyond the obvious physical upgrade Carcillo brings, he also offers a veteran presence that will be very much needed in what’ll likely be a frenzied environment at the Wells Fargo Center. Also, as the January 12th matchup proved, it sure doesn’t seem like any of Flyer players are fond of their former teammate, so I’m hoping Carcillo can use that to his advantage.
…and don’t forget Carcillo has proved to be much more skilled than many thought when he first arrived, so I don’t think he will be completely out of place on the third line.
…despite being a model citizen on the ice since his acquisition, my concern is that the emotion of the game could cause Carcillo to relapse faster than a recovering alcoholic at a German festival.
…let’s hope this move has the intended #carcilloeffect on the outcome of the game.
Here’s Vigneault’s full post practice presser…