The evaluating progress continues as the New York Rangers visit the New Jersey Devils with a different look.
New York Rangers head coach David Quinn continues to evaluate his crop of new faces as the club heads to The Rock to face the New Jersey Devils.
With 45 players still remaining in camp, cuts are expected to be made prior to the team’s fourth preseason game on Tuesday against the New York Islanders.
Look for Quinn to start putting together stronger lineups as the preseason continues. After all, opening night is right around the corner.
Here are 5 to watch Friday
1) Filip Chytil – The Rangers have already announced that they intend to use Chytil as their second-line center. The former first-round pick has to continue to improve his faceoff game and defensive coverage. Expect to see him drive to the net more as he has improved physically over the summer from where he was last season.
2) Pavel Buchnevich – The third-year veteran (strange, but true) has been named the right-wing on the team’s first line for Friday night’s game. Buch needs to have the breakout season everyone has been waiting for. He comes into this year with a few more Russian fans and what should be an enthusiastic new look to his game.
3) Ryan Lindgren – Lindgren seems to be in a battle with Libor Hajek for a roster spot. The coaching staff will be looking at Lindgren’s play in his own end. He might have a chance to see some power-play time as well. The club almost certainly will make cuts before Tuesday. The defenseman needs to prove he should still be up with the team next week.
4) Vladislav Namestnikov – Subjected to trade rumors most of the summer, Namestnikov seems to be in the group playing for a bottom-six forward spot. Though his scoring has decreased dramatically since his trade to New York in 2018, the forward has shown he has the ability to set up his teammates. He will be looking over his shoulder as Michael Haley, in Friday’s lineup again, continues to get looked at by the staff.
5) Henrik Lundqvist – Entering his 15th season, Hank comes into this year as the No. 1 goalie, probably for the last time in his career. He looks to find the focus and skill to carry the team back to the playoffs. Look for him to gain better control of rebounds, a problem that lingered through much of the second half of last season. He will need to be patient again and that starts with the game in New Jersey.
Brendan Lemieux would have made the list, but suspiciously was left out of the lineup for the second consecutive game.