The Rangers after having Sunday off and with three practices until Thursday’s game at Philadelphia ended today’s session with some hard conditioning skating that left more than a few tongues hanging. Typical hockey stuff and not the reason Henrik Lundqvist was not on the ice today.

“He just needed an extra day here we had five days in between games” said coach Alain Vigneault before praising Lundqvist pretty well considering he coached Roberto Luongo the past seven seasons. “Hank’s one of our top players he’s definitely a leader and a force on this team. When you struggle whether it be on a personal note or a team note a lot of times you let those guys work it out and Hank’s battling right now. I’m very confident he’s been the best goaltender in the NHL for some time. I’d say it’s a safe bet that he’s going to find his groove.”

As for retired veteran backup Marty Biron Vigneault said “I only knew Marty was he was 19 when I had him in Quebec (in junior hockey)” Vigneault said. “He was a great goaltender then he had a real good career I thought. In my opininon he was always the ultimate team guy and I think that was one of the reasons he was able to play for such a long time. Hard worker great team guy really loved and respected by his peers and I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision for him to make. And we’re going to wish him the best.”

Biron’s successor as Lundqvist’s backup 26-year-old Cam Talbot said he exchanged texts with Biron but doesn’t feel his own spot is more or less secure just because Biron is no longer in the organization.

“I honestly don’t think it really does” Talbot said. “I try to go about my business regardless. If I get in a game I’m going to play to the best of my ability and try to give them a reason not think about (replacing him as backup).”

With the schedule so loose this week it’s not likely Talbot would play either Thursday at Philadelphia and almost certainly not Saturday at Detroit. Next week though the schedule starts to get more compact so Talbot’s first chance is not likely to be that far off. The Rangers host the Canadiens next Monday (their first home game) and then face the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday.

Vigneault also discussed the Rangers’ decision on Sunday to recall Chris Kreider and Brandon Mashinter along with Talbot from Hartford (AHL).

Vigneault confirmed what was seen in practice - that Kreider will get every opportunity to work on the top line with Brad Richards and Derek Stepan as well as on the power play.

“In talking after the game yesterday with Glen and his staff we just felt we needed to see if Kreids could help us out in our top six spot which is usually an area where you have more offensive players” Vigneault said. “Both those young men bring us size and in Kreids case a lot of speed. We’re hoping they’re going to be able to help us generate a little more offense.”

Vigneault scouted Hartford on Friday and he sounds like he saw a different Kreider than the one he saw in training camp and preseason.

“I hought his line had some real good offensive possession” Vigneault said of Kreider’s AHL play. “He used his speed and body real well and he was put in the right role he was playing on the power play he was playing with two offensive players and we’re hoping he’ll be able to bring that to our team.

“I think right now with our team with who we have out that’s what we need right now” Vigneault added. “Even though his training camp might have been more on the average side that’s behind us. He went to Hartford and he worked really well real hard and he played some good minutes for them and hopefully he can come in and do the same thing for us. Most of training camp he had Richards and (Rick) Nash. His training camp was more on the average side but I think his time in Hartford he looked real sharp hopefully he’ll be able to do that.”

Meanwhile he is Kreider discussing his time in Hartford and being back with the Rangers.

“I think I played well learned a lot” Kreider said. “In particular I guess I focused on simplifying my game and control what I can control and trying to use my strengths to just play my game. Figure out what that is and do that.”

Kreider was then asked whether it was difficult to watch the Rangers struggle.

“Yes and no” he said. “You want to be able to help and be close with all the guys in the room and you want to see them succeed. At the same time you have to focus on the situation you’re in and help that team win.”

Kreider did agree it might have been beneficial to start the season with one team in this case Hartford and remain there for three weeks without being shuttled back and forth.

“Yeah I think there’s some value in that” Kreider said. “At the same time it’s hockey and hopefully you play again regardless of where I was. I was going to bring the same energy to the rink everyday. Happy to be there and happy to play hockey.”