Nick Holden

Getty

Rangers sign KHL d-man Bereglazov

2 Comments

New York added some defensive depth on Friday, agreeing to terms with Russian blueliner Alexei Bereglazov.

Bereglazov, 23, has spent the last few seasons with KHL club Metallurg Magnitogorsk, including a ’16-17 campaign in which he scored 19 points in 60 games. He led all d-men aged 24 or younger in assists, with 18.

Despite being passed over at the draft, Bereglazov had a good junior career, highlighted by capturing bronze for Russia at the 2014 World Juniors. He finished with two points in seven games in the tourney, playing alongside the likes of Andrei Vasilevskiy, Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Ivan Barbashev and his new Rangers teammate, Pavel Buchnevich.

It’ll be interesting to see where he fits in New York next season. The club has seven blueliners under contract — Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Klein, Nick Holden, Brady Skjei and Steve Kampfer — with Brendan Smith a pending UFA, and Adam Clendening a pending RFA.

 

Yes, Rangers give Buchnevich (and Holden) a chance in Game 4

Getty

It wouldn’t be a New York Rangers postseason game without fans being a bit upset about Alain Vigneault’s lineup decisions. They’re even more reliable than Henrik Lundqvist in net.

Still, some of the louder complaints are muted heading into Game 4 against the Montreal Canadiens, though it remains to be seen if it will be to the extent to quiet complaints.

As discussed earlier, the Rangers will indeed play Pavel Buchnevich tonight, with Nick Holden also drawing into the lineup. Tanner Glass‘ shocking game-winning goal could only carry him so far, so he’s out (along with Kevin Klein on defense).

Stream Rangers vs. Canadiens on NBC Sports

Perhaps this will give the Rangers a shot in the arm and/or better chance of gaining more puck possession against the Habs tonight? Perhaps.

But that doesn’t mean Vigneault gets an A+ from every fan.

Rangers to sit McDonagh, Nash, Zuccarello and Fast against Caps

Getty
1 Comment

The Rangers have little to play for down the stretch — they’ve clinched the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, and know they’re playing Montreal in Round 1 — so head coach Alain Vigneault has decided to rest some veterans.

Starting tomorrow.

On Tuesday, Vigneault announced that captain Ryan McDonagh and forwards Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and Jesper Fast would all sit out Wednesday’s game against the Capitals.

“They’ve all been playing through certain bumps and bruises,” Vigneault explained, per the club website. “So we can at this time give them a couple days here but I’m not exactly sure how things are going to unfold here.”

Vigneault went on to say none of the injuries were significant, and all four will play when the Rangers open up the posteason next week.

That said, it does create some confusion for tomorrow. Here’s what the makeshift lines will look like:

Pavel Buchnevich into Zuccarello’s spot with Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider.

Brandon Pirri will skate with Mika Zibanejad and Jimmy Vesey.

The Kevin Hayes unit with J.T. Miller and Michael Grabner was reunited, while Oscar Lindberg will skate between Matt Puempel and Tanner Glass.

New York didn’t unveil what the defensive pairings will be without McDonagh in the mix.

This will be Zuccarello’s first missed game of the year, as he was one of just four Rangers to play in all 79 contests (Miller, Stepan and d-man Nick Holden are the others).

McDonagh, who leads all Rangers by averaging 24:24 TOI per night, has appeared in 76 games, having missed a few recently with an undisclosed ailment.

No Lundqvist, Nash or Grabner for banged-up Rangers tonight

Getty
3 Comments

The Blueshirts are limping into this evening’s tilt with Carolina.

Starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist is sidelined with a lower-body injury. Leading goalscorer Michael Grabner will miss his fifth straight contest with a hip ailment. Alternate captain Rick Nash is out with a lingering upper-body issue.

So what sayeth you, J.T. Miller?

“People go down and people have to step into a different spot normally,” the Rangers’ leading scorer said, per the club website. “Just have to play like any other game.”

On their own, the losses are significant — but when piled on top of the guys New York was already without, it’s pretty overwhelming.

The Rangers were down the services of d-men Kevin Klein (back) and Dan Girardi (ankle), while versatile forward Jesper Fast is on the shelf with a separated shoulder.

As a result, head coach Alain Vingeault’s working with a patchwork lineup. The Chris KreiderDerek StepanMats Zuccarello line will remain intact, while Miller will jump to fill Nash’s spot alongside Pavel Buchnevich and Mika Zibanejad.

Matt Puempel, a healthy scratch recently, will draw back in and play alongside Jimmy Vesey and Kevin Hayes. That leaves Tanner Glass, Oscar Lindberg and Brandon Pirri on the fourth line.

On defense, it’ll be Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh, Brendan Smith, Nick Holden, Brady Skjei and Steve Kampfer.

Antti Raanta will get the start, while ECHL recall Brandon Halverson will back up.

Rangers get Brendan Smith from Detroit

16 Comments

With Kevin Klein still dealing with back spasms and Dan Girardi expected to miss a couple of weeks with an ankle injury, the New York Rangers are reportedly in the process of acquiring defenseman Brendan Smith in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie says the return to the Wings will be a second-round draft pick in 2018 and a third-round pick in 2017.

Update: The deal is official.

Smith, 28, is a pending unrestricted free agent. A left shot who can play the right side, he has two goals and three assists in 33 games this season while averaging 18:44 of ice time.

He had hoped to re-sign with the Wings.

“Do I want to go to free agency? I would rather have a contract, to be honest,” Smith said Monday, per NHL.com. “I would like to know where I am because I think becoming a free agent is the unknown and that can kind of be scary at the same time.

“All I know is that I would like to have a good contract with the Wings and be around. We’re kind of starting to go through that process. If that works out, or whether [GM Ken Holland] is maybe looking to move myself or somebody else, we’ll just have to wait and see.”

The Rangers recalled defenseman Steven Kampfer from the AHL this morning. Kampfer will play tonight against Washington, slotting in behind Nick Holden and Adam Clendening on the right side.