Monday night rookie Jesper Fast made his Madison Square Garden debut in the Rangers 2-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. Following the game he learned it would be his last visit to The Garden for a bit as he was officially assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack.
The 21 year-old Fast made the team out of training camp, played on opening night in Phoenix, and appeared in eight of the Rangers first ten games on the season. Fast was scoreless---robbed of his first NHL goal by Montreal's Peter Budaj in the second period Monday night---and a minus-five in his eight games. He recorded his first two career penalty minutes in the loss to the Canadiens, taking a hooking minor early in the third period.
The young Swede was averaging around ten minutes of ice-time per game, and had managed only four shots on goal in eight games. He was playing a regular role on the team's penalty kill, an area he stood out on Monday night.
The roster move seems to set the stage for Carl Hagelin's return to the Rangers. Hagelin has yet to play this season following off-season shoulder surgery, but he has been practicing with contact for a couple of weeks and his ten-game stint on the LTIR is now complete. Though Hagelin officially still resides on LTIR, it would appear he will be activated in time to make his season debut against the Islanders Tuesday night on Long Island.
"He brings a speed dimension obviously, and he's a guy that can help us create turnovers and definitely help us spend more time in the other end," head coach Alain Vigneault said of Hagelin following Monday's loss. "He's been a big part of this team, and if he does play (Tuesday) I'm sure he will be ready."
The 25 year-old Hagelin scored ten goals and finished with24 points while playing in all 48 games last season with the Rangers, his second in the NHL.