The New York Rangers face an interesting test in the Pittsburgh Penguins on NBC this afternoon, and it sounds like head coach Alain Vigneault will be especially interested to track the progress of key defensive pairing Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi.
Vigneault called out McDonagh and Girardi in regard to their play in Friday’s 2-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets, as the Bergen Record’s Andrew Gross reports.
“They turned the puck over way too many times to what they’ve accustomed us to,” Vigneault said. “We need a better game from those two.”
(For what it’s worth, things didn’t look so great from the duo from a “fancy stats” perspective.)
As hot as the Rangers have been lately, the Penguins could really expose defensive deficiencies, so expect that duo to be challenged today.
In other Rangers news, J.T. Miller returns to the lineup to replace Tanner Glass. While some would like to see more of Miller in general, the young forward’s supporters would at least probably like to know that Vigneault has some positive words for him.
That said, the coach also said he wants to see him make “higher percentage plays” with the puck, so it’s a work in progress.