-A few random notes from today's morning skates.
-Ben Lovejoy's steadiest defensive partner since joining the Penguins has been Paul Martin. He was asked about playing with Martin:
“When I first started playing with Paul, I felt like I was a little all over the place. I was deferring too much trying to read off what he was doing rather than playing my game. I feel like we've complimented each other well as of late. He's a very smart player. I like to pretend I am too. I think that we can play good defense and try and eat up minutes. I think we've done a good job of that but like everybody, we need to be better.”
-Scott Wilson played his first complete and first postseason NHL game Monday. He joked that he was happy to "finish" a game. Taylor Chorney, who has seen his fair share of NHL prospects, was asked about Wilson's season at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
What has his season been like?
"[Wilson's] just a complete player. You can play him in any role. He's been playing a lot of different spots down there. I think he's just such a solid player. He can score. He wins board battles. He hits. He not afraid to fight if he has to. I think [Wilson] is just kind of a 'hockey player.' He does everything well.”
So he's kind of a "Swiss Army Knife" type of player?
"The coaches probably like having [Wilson] around a lot because they can trust him in any situation. If you need to score a goal, you can put him out there. If you're trying to protect a lead, you can put him out thre. He's just a good all-around player."
Mike Johnston lauded him for going to high traffic areas despite not being all that big.
"[Wilson's] a competitor. He's not afraid to get his nose dirty. He can get in there and compete hard. I'm sure he's probably played like that his whole life. You can say he's probably a little undersized but he's not afraid to go to those tough areas to score goals."
-Johnston said Derrick Pouliot was "real close" to returning. Well Pouliot was on the ice late following his team's optional morning skate today along with Scott Harrington, Beau Bennett, Craig Adams and Thomas Greiss. We're not sure how close he truly is.
Rangers left winger Carl Hagelin had a nice one-liner when asked about the importance of scoring the first goal in all three games of this series thus far:
“Well it's been important in two games of the three I guess.”
-Hagelin and Hornqvist butted heads quite a bit in Game 3. The contest ended with a scrum behind the Rangers net which featured Hornqvist tackling him to the ice in a headlock. Hagelin was asked if he knew Hornqvist, a fellow Swede at all:
“Yeah, I know him back from Stockholm. It doesn't matter who you know. In the playoffs, you just play hockey. We're two competitive guys. We just go out there and do what we can for the team. It doesn't matter who is on the other side.”
-A lot was made from the Pittsburgh perspective of Evgeni Malkin's meek production during the postseason. Ex-Penguins left winger Tanner Glass was asked about the Rangers' perspective:
“He's an elite player. It's well known. As a team, their centermen in general drive a lot of what their offense does. So we've been trying to keep the puck out of his hands with speed. Maybe that can frustrate him. He's a good player. He's going to get his looks. We've just got to limit where they come from and how many he gets.”
-Rangers defneseman Keith Yandle skipped today's morning skate again due to an illness but will play. He did the same thing Friday.
-We'll be chatting tonight's game. Feel free to participate down below:
-We'll have postgame blog following.