Rick Nash Nate Schmidt New York Rangers
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers will crawl to the much-needed bye week, having lost two of their last three games since the calendar flipped to 2018.

Lettieri Back to the AHL

The New York Rangers announced they sent forward Vinni Lettieri back to Hartford on Monday. Presumably, this move is to keep Lettieri playing, since the AHL is not on bye this week. Chances are he will be back with the big club following the break.

Hayes Still Being Evaluated 

Still no word on Kevin Hayes and the significance of his injury suffered Sunday night in Las Vegas. Hayes left the game in the second period after taking a clean hard hit in the first from Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt. It looked more awkward than hard, to be honest. Certainly nice timing with the bye week, though—hopefully enough time for Hayes to recover.

The Captain is Frustrated

Captain Ryan McDonagh sat down with Steve Zipay of Newsday to talk about the recent struggles for the Rangers. McDonagh was quick to call out the team’s “top players” but was also quick to mention himself. McDonagh, who has not scored a goal yet this season, pointed out that the Vegas top players made plays when they needed to and that’s what got them the win. Without naming names aside from himself, was clearly frustrated with the team’s play.

The Mystery Surrounding Pavel Buchnevich 

Alain Vigneault gave a statement Monday regarding his scratching of Pavel Buchnevich, per the YES Network’s Seth Rothman and, well, it’s certainly not an answer that fans will like. Listen, this guy was hired to take an NHL team to the Stanley Cup, not break down his roster decisions with the media and certainly not the fans.

From someone who knows the game of hockey from behind the bench, I’m sure there’s things they need from Buchnevich that he’s clearly not showing. He looks lethargic, he doesn’t finish checks on the forecheck, and he isn’t producing quality chances five-on-five. But with Kreider already out and the rest of the team seemingly snake bitten, why not let the kid play out of his funk? If you the coach instills confidence in a player, that confidence will radiate on the ice.

Buchnevich has more to offer than just power play prowess, and its time for the coaching staff to let the skill shine through during a time of need.

No practice this week for the Rangers so Ranger news will most likely be light this week. For now check out the following articles for your viewing pleasure while we patiently wait for hockey to return.

  • Joe Fortunato of Blueshirt Banter discusses AV’s use, of or lack of use, of Advanced Statistics.
  • Dominick Renna of Elite Sports NY offers up his thoughts on the Rangers three stars of the week.
  • Frank Curto of Elite Sports NY has some interesting thoughts on the shootout and why it doesn’t belong in the NHL anymore.
Neal Purcell has a tremendous passion for New York Rangers hockey and the sport of hockey in general. A graduate of SUNY Cortland in Upstate NY, Purcell coaches both a high school hockey team and a travel team in the winter. Purcell is also a part of a small family business in the Central New York Region.