Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant joked that every day he looks at the NHL standings, where his team is currently ranked third in the Metropolitan Division, but he never pays attention to them.
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When a division rival arrives on schedule, attention must be paid.
“Oh yeah, there’s no doubt that whenever your division opponents come to town, you’re going to think about it all the time,” Gallant said after practice Tuesday ahead of a Rangers matchup with the Flyers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. let’s talk.” “It’s a four-figure game, so you have to be prepared to play them and we haven’t played Philly this year, so looking forward to that.”
The Flyers are coming on a six-game losing skid in Wednesday’s contest, which saw them outsmart 26-11 — including shootouts and overtime losses to the Lightning and Panthers, respectively. Currently sitting second-to-last in the division, Philadelphia is without former blueshirt Kevin Hayes, who has played just two games after undergoing abdominal surgery in September, and Derrick Brassard, who has missed the last three games.
Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher told reporters on Tuesday that Hayes might be able to play on Wednesday, but Brassard has a hip problem that could sideline him for a while.
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The American Hockey League is currently in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak, and the Wolf Pack, an affiliate of the Rangers in Hartford, is one of several teams that have had to put games on hold.
“Due to league COVID-19 protocols affecting the Hartford Wolf Pack, our home game for Wednesday, 1 December has been postponed,” the team announced on Tuesday.
Wolf Pack personnel conducted rapid tests on Monday night and saliva PCR tests on Tuesday. The results were not expected to be ready till late Tuesday night. While the team hasn’t released the exact number of positive tests, NHL.com’s Mark Diver reports that there have been more than 10.
AHL teams in Providence (Bruins), Hershey (Capitals) and Bridgeport (Islanders) have all reported positive COVID-19 cases.
The current outbreak in Hartford explains why Rangers did not conduct any recalls in the wake of Greg McKeig entering COVID-19 protocol on Monday.
“Definitely [it limits us], Gallant said. “But hopefully our regular lineup is going [Wednesday] And we’ll see what happens. If we needed something there, it certainly hurts you.”
Bruins’ Brad Marchand admitted he told Artemi Panarin “no one likes him in Russia,” which prompted the Rangers star winger to throw his glove at him and was later fined $5,000.
“If that’s what puts people on edge, it’s the softest league in the world,” Marchand told reporters.