New York Rangers  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two

Rangers coach on fatigue: If Lundqvist isn’t tired, no one else should be


Scheduling can vary in the postseason, but teams generally play games every other day when they’re not awaiting their next opponents. With that in mind, it’s difficult to deny the notion that the New York Rangers might be fatigued going into Game 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Rangers will go into Monday’s game with less than 24 hours of rest after losing to the Penguins 3-0 in Game 2 on Sunday. It’s the bigger picture that makes it especially taxing, however; While the Penguins waited for their second-round opponent from April 28 to Friday’s Game 1, the Rangers have been doing a lot of battling. Tomorrow’s contest will be the Blueshirts’ sixth playoff game in just nine days. They also faced a back-to-back set in Game 6 and 7 against the Philadelphia Flyers on this past week.

If you’re looking for excuses from the Rangers themselves, head coach Alain Vigneault won’t bite.

Henrik Lundqvist was indeed excellent in Game 2, stopping 32 out of 34 shots in defeat. Whether you blame fatigue or the Penguins’s strong play (or a combination of the two factors), New York only made Marc-Andre Fleury face 22 saves in a shutout performance.

Vigneault might try to deny the rest factor, but Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma absolutely acknowledges that his team hopes to press the advantage.

If nothing else, the Rangers have shown that they often excel in difficult situations. They’ll also hope for a boost from the crowd at MSG.

It should be an interesting test for both teams.

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.