Jimmy Vesey gets chance to prove himself with Rangers’ top line

Jimmy Vesey is simply the most recent participant to get a glance on the Rangers’ top line subsequent to Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad, which has given the 29-year-old much more of a chance to showcase himself within the ultimate days of his skilled tryout contract.

“We put him everywhere,” coach Gerard Gallant mentioned of Vesey, who blocked one shot and recorded one hit within the Rangers’ 5-4 loss to the Bruins on Wednesday evening at Madison Square Garden. “Lots of the fellows — I imply, I’m not going to level out simply Vesey as a result of there’s [Gustav] Rydahl and there’s all these guys battling for these spots. So he’s one in every of them. He’s performed in numerous conditions and we wish to give our guys a glance. So that’s what it has been.

“We’ve been trying to fill out the roster to make sense for the opening night. Again, they’re exhibition games, you’d like to play well and you get more of your team into them, but again, I’m not putting too much into the lines or the lineup right now.”

Slotting subsequent to Zibanejad and Kreider is acquainted territory for Vesey, who spent the primary three seasons of his NHL career in New York with these two. Vesey and Zibanejad really got here to the Rangers on the similar time forward of the 2016-17 season.

Jimmy Vesey
Jason Szenes

In 80:51 of ice time over these three seasons, in accordance to Natural Stat Trick, Vesey, Zibanejad and Kreider have been on the ice collectively for 5 targets and 7 towards. However, that was a number of years in the past and all three gamers have developed a ton since then. Vesey mentioned the familiarity helps when it comes to their communication.

“I’m not going to be nervous to talk to them,” he mentioned. “Yesterday in practice, we had a lot of communication going. I was probably a little bit of nerves the first couple drills. But they’re great guys and making me feel really comfortable.”

Zibanejad scored twice within the first interval of Wednesday evening’s loss, together with one on the facility play. However, the Kid Line of Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko was as soon as once more the Rangers’ most constant unit all through the sport. The trio totaled two targets (each from Kakko), an help (from Lafreniere) and 10 photographs on purpose.

Still, Gallant wasn’t significantly happy with the Rangers efficiency — particularly the gamers on the roster bubble.

Mika Zibanejad (second from right), scored two goals in the Rangers' 5-4 preseason loss to the Bruins.
Mika Zibanejad (second from proper), scored two targets within the Rangers’ 5-4 preseason loss to the Bruins.
Jason Szenes

“A lot of them didn’t do themselves favors with tonight’s game,” he mentioned. “A lot of guys are battling for jobs, but it wasn’t a good game for a lot of those guys tonight. Our whole team, we weren’t good enough.”

Ryan Lindgren is day-to-day with an undisclosed lower-body damage and didn’t skate towards Boston. Gallant mentioned the Rangers are “playing it real safe” with Lindgren, who was sidelined for 3 video games within the first spherical of the playoffs final season with a lower-body damage.

As a outcome, his defensive associate, Adam Fox, was additionally held out of the lineup to maintain the specified D pairings collectively.

“Could he skate today? Yes,” the coach mentioned. “We’re not concerned.”

Igor Shesterkin was scheduled to begin Wednesday evening at MSG, however the Rangers mentioned “stomach issues” relegated the star netminder to the bench. As a outcome, Jaroslav Halak bought the nod and gave up 5 targets on 26 photographs within the loss.

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