Morning Skate Report: Rangers More Upbeat, AV on Carcillo

By Matt Calamia

Despite the challenge at hand, the Rangers were a more upbeat group Wednesday morning, hours before they looked to keep their season going in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings.

It was a stark change from just 24 hours earlier, when the group — understandably — was much somber hours after losing Game 3, 3-0, and finding themselves in a similar hole in the Final.

“Today, I’m not going to lie to you, it’s pretty much impossible to come in here and be upbeat, but you have to be professional,” Brad Richards said Tuesday morning.

But that was then and this is now.

“We’re upbeat today. Gameday. Obviously a tough day yesterday for everybody,” Martin St. Louis said inside a crowded Rangers dressing room after practice. “We have a chance to do something special. We’re going to take it one game at a time.

“It’s all about momentum,” St. Louis added, “and we’re going to try and grab it tonight.”

The Rangers know their backs are against the wall. There is a no tomorrow with a loss. Henrik Lundqvist on Tuesday said the team had to leave everything they had on the ice in Game 4, and on Wednesday his teammates were echoing the same philosophy.

“There’s nothing to save it for now,” Kevin Klein said. “We know what we have to do. I know the guys are going to come out tonight and leave it all out there. Whatever happens, happens. We just have to take this game and go from there. We can’t really worry about the future.”

The positive vibes were felt by all, including head coach Alain Vigneault, who at the conclusion said he was jokingly disappointed that no one from the media asked him to imitate a hockey-inspired Netflix commercial.

“Not sure what you guys expected,” Vigneault said when he was asked whether he expected the mood to be different from yesterday. “I think our overall mood was the one that was expected and appropriate. I didn’t think anybody would be making cartwheels today.

“Today we’re back at work,” Vigneault added. “We had a good meeting this morning. We’re getting ready for a good hockey game tonight.”

********************************************************************

As is customary, Vigneault would not hint his hand at whether there would be lineup changes in store for the Blueshirts tonight in Game 4. Daniel Carcillo is available to play, and Vigneault said if Carcillo was to be used, he’d expect to see what No. 13 has brought to the team since he was acquired in early January.

“He would bring what he’s brought to us all year long, is real good energy,” Vigneault said. “He’s been in these situations before. He’s been a good player for us. If we do use him tonight, I’m sure he’s going to be ready.”