After their morning skate, the New York Rangers announced that head coach David Quinn and his staff will miss at least the two-game series against the Washington Capitals this weekend.
Kris Knoblauch, coach of the Rangers’ American Hockey League affiliate in Hartford, will continue to replace Quinn as the acting coach. Hartford associate coach Gord Murphy and Rangers associate general manager Chris Drury will continue to be his assistants.
It was Knoblauch’s first time coaching an NHL game but he was a Flyers assistant from 2017-19.
Knoblauch reported that after finding out about his call-up, he was in constant contact with Quinn about the game plan. “I was just following the game plan that he set forward. We didn’t have much time to prepare much or do anything rather than just implement what they had planned.”
Between the game plan and a team that rallied behind their substitute coaches, the Rangers pummeled the Philadelphia Flyers 9-0 on Wednesday night.
They will need to continue this strong play in facing one of the top teams in the division.
The New York Rangers will face a Capitals team that has won six straight.
The Capitals have won six in a row and 10 of their past 11 to move ahead of the Islanders in the standings after defeating them on Tuesday night. In fact, Washington has won those six in a row even after Tom Wilson was suspended for a dangerous hit.
However, the Capitals still have Alex Ovechkin. Recently, Ovechkin scored his 718th goal to pass Phil Esposito and became the second active player to record 1,300 points. He has also been a big part of the Capital’s recent success. The longtime captain has goals in four consecutive games and five of six and is tied with longtime running mate Nicklas Backstrom, who also scored, for the team lead with 12 this season.
Also, Wilson’s replacement in the lineup, Daniel Sprong, has been playing very well. He has three goals in five of those games. He has six goals in 18 games this season and is averaging 10:28 of ice time. Wilson will be out for Friday’s games against the Rangers but will return from the suspension for Saturday’s contest.
Friday and Saturday’s games against the Capitals are scheduled for a 7 p.m. puck drop.