The Rangers will be practicing today with Raphael Diaz on the ice. He was recalled to the team last night one day after the Rangers' Game Two victory over the Penguins in Pittsburgh. The call-up was made official today.
Head coach Alain Vigneault's lack of confidence in McIlrath has been evident all year long and it should come as no surprise that the Rangers are adding the presence of a veteran defenseman that is widely regarded as a superior skater with more offense to offer to the team. It should come as a surprise to no one that the power play proving to be crucial to the outcome of games thus far in this series and Diaz has experience running point on the power play.
Diaz has been discussed as a likely recall since the Dan Girardi injury. Having him up with the big club makes plenty of sense given the injuries to Girardi and Rangers' captain Ryan McDonagh. It also could mean that the injury to Girardi is more significant than initially thought.
Diaz had 21 points in 37 games with the Wolf Pack this season.