The Rangers incredible forward depth has been their biggest strength this whole season, allowing them to fight through many injuries, roll four skill lines and score the third most goals in the league (181). But with so many quality wingers and only six spots in the top nine, somebody is going to suffer because of it.
Lately it’s been Pavel Buchnevich. The 21 year old rookie has been very effective this season, already totaling 15 points (6-9-15) in 21 games and even recording an eight game point streak, scoring six goals and six assists over that span.
Despite all of that, as well as the fact that many other stats back up how good he has been, Buchnevich has found himself on the fourth line for the past few games. Sure, there are a lot of good wingers and forwards that need ice time, but wasting Buchnevich on the fourth line is not the right decision. Read the rest of this entry
- New York Rangers (33-18-1, 67 PTS) vs. Anaheim Ducks (28-16-10, 66 PTS)
- The Rangers are coming off of a 4-3 win over the Calgary flames in the first game of their four game home stand. Rick Nash, Michael Grabner, Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast all scored goals and Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves. Grabner’s goal was his 23rd, and his 22 even strength goals leads the NHL. Chris Kreider scored his 21st goal of the season, tying his career high. JT Miller picked up two assists.
- The Ducks lost in the shootout against the Tampa Bay Lightning in their last game, giving them two straight losses and a 1-2-1 record in their last four games. Defenseman Brandon Montour scored his first career goal and Ryan Getzlaf also scored. Jonathan Bernier made 35 saves but got the loss.
Last season saw the emergence of many good rookies, such as Jack Eichel, Filip Forsberg, Artemi Panarin and Connor McDavid. But Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers was one of the most exciting and promising players to emerge from last year.
Gostisbehere was coming off of a 2014-15 season where he tore his ACL and played just five AHL games. The Union College grad played in a full-time role for the first time last season, featuring in 64 games and scoring 17 goals and 29 assists (46 points). The 17 goals was a Flyers record for goals by a rookie defenseman. He also had a 15-game scoring streak, which was the longest by a defenseman in the last 20 years, and also was the first rookie to score four overtime goals.
He played on the top pairing against some of the top players in the league and was certainly a strong and effective defender. He was lauded for his ability to transition quickly, easily able to recover from a turnover and get back on defense. A great skater, an excellent passer and scorer, and a power play quarter back (8-14-22 on the power play last season), Gostisbehere had the look of an elite defenseman. Read the rest of this entry
- New York Rangers (32-18-1, 65 PTS) vs Calgary Flames (27-24-3, 67 PTS)
- The Rangers won their last game, a 2-1 overtime victory over the Buffalo Sabres. They snapped a power play drought in the win thanks to Mats Zuccarello’s deflection goal, and Chris Kreider scored in overtime for his 20th goal of the season. Henrik Lundqvist was spectacular, making 36 saves in the win.
- The Flames have won three straight games after snapping out of a rough stretch that saw them lost six out of seven. Their last game was a 4-3 overtime win over the New Jersey Devils. Mikael Backlund scored the game winner, Sean Monahan found the back of the net and TJ Brodie tallied four assists.
Quick Hits: Kevin Shattenkirk rumors, Alain Vigneault contract extension, Rangers scouting the Kings?
Welcome back to Quick Hits, a series where I address some interesting topics about the Rangers and the league all in one article. The NHL is just coming out of the All Star Break and approaching the trade deadline. With a lot of teams competing for playoff spots, things should get pretty interesting very soon.
If there’s anything you want me to talk about in the next edition of Quick Hits, leave suggestions in the comments below.
Rangers one of the teams interested in Kevin Shattenkirk
This is a longstanding rumor linking these two teams, but they’ve come back again and it seems like the Rangers are interested in trading for him at the trade deadline. I have a ton of mixed feelings about this. Read the rest of this entry