Assistant coach David Oliver cleared COVID-19 protocol and was back behind the bench Tuesday when the Rangers hosted the Washington Capitals at the Garden. Oliver was the final member of the coaching staff to return to full duty.
Oliver, along with fellow assistants Greg Brown and Jacques Martin and head coach David Quinn were ruled out March 17, necessitating Hartford Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch, associate coach Gord Murphy and Rangers associate GM Chris Drury to assume bench duties for the game that night against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers won, 9-0 that night, and the staff remained out for the next three games before Martin and Brown were able to return last Thursday when the Rangers went to Philadelphia to open a three-game road trip. Quinn returned for the final game of the road trip in Washington on Sunday.
Knoblauch, who had served as acting head coach for six games, stayed on as an assistant Sunday, but returned to Hartford when Oliver was cleared.
Lineup stays same
With Brett Howden missing his fifth game while on the COVID-19 list and Vitali Kravtsov still only having had two practices and not yet activated onto the roster, the lineup was the same as it was in Sunday’s 5-4 loss in Washington.
The lines remained the same as well, including the Kid Line of Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil and Julien Gauthier.
Quinn said the coaching staff has discussed breaking up the line, putting a veteran in there somewhere.
“When you’ve got a young line, you’re gonna have to be patient and allow them to grow,’’ he said. “And depending on the game situation, there may be some changes to some of those lines to … give it a little bit more of a veteran presence on that line and mix the lines up a little bit.’’
D Ryan Lindgren was set to play his 100th game.