The two goals that Adam McQuaid has scored over the past four games have been a nice bonus for the Rangers, but nothing compared to what the veteran defenseman has done for Brady Skjei.
Now, with two weeks left until the NHL trade deadline, the question is whether the Rangers want to get value for McQuaid — potentially a mid-round pick via trade — or from McQuaid by keeping him paired with Skjei the rest of the season.
“He’s done a lot of great things,” coach David Quinn said Monday after practice. “Him and Brady have really played well together. I think Brady Skjei has by far played his best hockey of this year. Obviously I wasn’t here his first two years, but boy, he’s defending hard, I think he’s making really good decisions with the puck. There’s a lot to love about Brady right now. I’m really happy for him and proud of the strides he’s made.
“I think Adam’s had something to do with that, but I also think one of the reasons Adam’s playing well is because he’s playing with Brady. I think they’ve both fed off each other.”
As Alexandar Georgiev received congratulations from his teammates following a 55-save effort Sunday on his 23rd birthday, Henrik Lundqvist skated away from the greeting line. The veteran goalie made a point to go pick up the puck and hand deliver it to Georgiev.
“That’s a game he’ll remember for sure,” Lundqvist said. “It’s a game where you just know you played a huge part for the team, on a special night as well. So that’s why I told him, ‘You should keep this puck.’”
But Georgiev, who said he was feeling “a little tired” Monday, already wanted to turn the page.
“I just think it’s something that happened [Sunday],” Georgiev said. “I have to focus on the next game, the next possibility.”
The Rangers had no update on the status of first-round pick K’Andre Miller, the Wisconsin defenseman who took a hard crash into the boards Saturday night and exited without putting much weight on his left leg.
Badgers coach Tony Granato said Monday that Miller won’t play this weekend and he would be reevaluated later in the day.
“We’re not going to rush him back from anything,” Granato said, per the Wisconsin State Journal. “The knee is fine, but he’s banged up pretty good.”
Fredrik Claesson skated in a full practice without a non-contact jersey Monday for the first time since injuring his shoulder on Jan. 12, but the defenseman still needs a few more days before he gets back into the lineup.
“Not [Tuesday] night, but hopefully Friday,” Claesson said. “I feel a lot better.”