Chris Kreider views rest as a weapon


It’s not the sort of slogan that will move a lot of “No Fear” t-shirts, but Chris Kreider‘s right in saying that “rest is a weapon.”

The New York Rangers have actually been pretty stout in back-to-back situations, but some on the team believed that their fatigue showed in a lopsided loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Either way, they’re relishing this opportunity to recover, as Kreider and Alain Vigneault (among others) told Newsday.

Vigneault also provided some interesting insight on resting veteran players vs. giving yourself the best chance to win.

“Right now, in my ideal world, in my division, it is crazy,” Vigneault said. “Just look. Nobody’s losing. So this resting thing, everybody’s trying to get in. You’ve got to play . . . what you feel is your best lineup.”

That balancing act is likely to remain a challenge. Take a look at the Rangers’ next month:

Dec. 23: vs. the Wild
Dec. 27: vs. the Senators
Dec. 29: at Coyotes
Dec. 31: at Avalanche
Jan. 3: vs. Sabres
Jan. 4: at Flyers
Jan. 7: at Blue Jackets
Jan. 13: vs. Maple Leafs
Jan. 14: at Canadiens
Jan. 17: vs. Stars
Jan. 19: at Maple Leafs
Jan. 22: at Red Wings
Jan. 23: vs. Kings

There are some nice opportunities for rest in there, yet there are also some pockets where Vigneault might face difficult questions of risk vs. reward.

Some might look at fatigue talk as merely making excuses, but in a league with profound parity – and in a division where no one “seems to lose” – every little edge counts.

It’s the sort of thought process that, for all we know, could make or break this season for New York.

Scroll Down For:

    Blackhawks F Katchouk will be sidelined by ankle sprain

    Harry How/Getty Images

    CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced Sunday.

    The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

    The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

    The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

    Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

    Getty Images

    ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

    The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

    The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

    Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

    The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

    Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

    tampa bay lightning
    Scott Audette/Getty Images

    TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

    The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

    “This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

    Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

    Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

    Rasmus Sandin
    Julian Avram/Getty Images

    TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

    The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

    “Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

    The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

    Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.