Alain Vigneault
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Even though the New York Rangers lost to the Panthers on Tuesday night, there are still plenty of good things going on with this team.

Alain Vigneault spoke with Mike Francesca on his afternoon show yesterday. Vigneault started off by saying that the NHL is the most competitive it has been as a head coach.

“This is my 12th consecutive year, and I’ve never seen it this close,” Vigneault told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Wednesday. “I’ve never seen the balance of the league from top to bottom. You have to be on top of your game every game.”

He went on to talk about the play of Henrik Lundqvist.

“Hank’s found his way, and usually when he does, the rest of our group falls into place, from our defensive positioning, to structure, to our offense just feeds off that,” he said.

Vigneault has been happy with the recent play if defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

“It took Kevin obviously a little bit of time. But I can say now that he’s really used to the environment, the culture that we have here,” Vigneault said. “He’s playing extremely well, both offensively and defensively.

You can listen to the entire interview by clicking on the above WFAN tweet.

The New York Rangers held their 24th Annual Toys for Tots event

Fans lined up in droves to donate some toys and get some autographs from their favorite New York Rangers at Wollman Rink in Central Park, NY.

A representative form the U.S. Marines assists with the toy drive.

Jimmy Vesey had some fun with one of his pictures.

Ryan McDonagh hopes to return Friday

Ryan McDonagh said that his abdominal strain has been feeling better and he hopes to return to the ice for Friday nights game at Madison Square Garden against the Carolina Hurricanes. Head coach Alain Vigneault wants to first see McDonagh skate in a full practice, scheduled for Thursday before he makes any final decision. McDonagh has missed the last three games.

A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at