Rangers Notebook: Enforcer Daniel Carcillo joins up with team
The newest Ranger is in town. He just wasn’t in the lineup.
Daniel Carcillo joined the Rangers for the morning skate at the Greenburgh, N.Y. Training Facility Monday morning, but the left wing did not dress for Monday night’s game against Columbus at the Garden. Alain Vigneault decided to ice the same lineup as the one which routed the Maple Leafs, 7-1, Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre.
Carcillo was acquired from Los Angeles Saturday, a move prompted by the loss of Derek Dorsett to a broken fibula in the 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh Friday night. Dorsett is expected to return in four to six weeks, which should put him in line to come back after the Olympic Break.
“I welcome [the trade],” Carcillo told reporters Monday morning. “It’s a good place to be — great team, young. It’s a good opportunity to bring what I can — a little bit of leadership and some experience — and hopefully I’ll help in whatever way they want me to.”
Assuredly, Carcillo was brought in to add a physical element to a team which lacks that attribute outside of Dorsett. Carcillo has totaled 1,136 penalty minutes against 89 points (41 goals and 48 assists) in 359 career games with Phoenix, Philadelphia, Chicago and the Kings. He has two points (one goal and one assist) and 57 penalty minutes in 26 games this season.
“For guys like me, if you don’t play on that line you’re not going to play,” Carcillo said. “You have to provide energy every night. You just have to think a little bit more.”
Rangers heavy on Olympic players
To hear head coach Alain Vigneault tell it, there won’t be much of — if any — Olympic hangover.
“Considering that level of competition and the level of competition that guys are going to be coming back into — because everybody is going to be fighting for playoff position — I don’t think it’s going to take long for the guys to get back in it and be good,” Vigneault said following the morning skate.
The Rangers will be well-represented in Sochi, Russia, as Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan were named to Team USA on New Year’s Day. Despite a subpar season, Rick Nash could be named to Team Canada Tuesday. Henrik Lundqvist will make the Swedish Olympic team, and he may be joined by Carl Hagelin. Mats Zuccarello may make the Norwegian team.
Vigneault acknowledged the coaching staff may have to modify the practice schedules for those players who participate in the Olympics, as the Rangers will play 23 games in six weeks as they attempt to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs for the eighth time in nine seasons.
“There might be a little bit of mental fatigue,” Vigneault said. “I think you, as a staff, have to monitor that, maybe give the guys an extra day off here and there.”
Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.