Buchnevich/Nash to return tonight; Zibanejad skating

rick nash
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The Rangers are finally starting to get healthy, per the notes from practice yesterday. To summarize:

  • Pavel Buchnevich and Rick Nash will return to the lineup tonight. With Nicklas Jensen already sent down, one of Matt Puempel, Brandon Pirri, or Marek Hrivik will sit so both can play (unless Jesper Fast can’t play).
  • Fast has the flu. AV wasn’t 100% he will be good to go tonight.
  • Mika Zibanejad was skating in full yesterday. He will not play this weekend, and will practice again in full on Monday. Alain Vigneault hinted that it’s a matter of getting Zibanejad back in game shape.
  • Marc Staal is likely not playing this weekend. That likely means the same defense pairings tonight and tomorrow.
"Buchnevich/Nash to return tonight; Zibanejad skating", 2 out of 5 based on 3 ratings.

13 thoughts on “Buchnevich/Nash to return tonight; Zibanejad skating

  • Jan 13, 2017 at 11:33 am

    I am thinking Puempel and Fast sit for the forwards and Staal sits at least one more game on the defensive side.

    Hopefully Nash and Buch have their legs in the 3rd period. Maybe this lights a fire under Zucc and Stepan as well, making our top 2 lines something stronger than usual as well as something for the opposition to fear. Dropping Grabner back to the third line makes him a lethal weapon against other teams 3rd lines.

    • Jan 13, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      You pretty much nailed it on the effect this will have on Grabner. I can’t wait for Z to return and have a similar effect on the centers and the PP.

      And who the heck down voted Dave’s post on this? Seriously? LOL.

      • Jan 13, 2017 at 1:06 pm

        I thought all the thumbs up/thumbs downs ratings were gone. I almost wanted to see all 3 (Nash/Zib/Buch) come back together and as one full line and not upset the other lines other than to displace Pirri/Puempel/Hrvik. This would let everyone else continue to gel and play against 2nd and 3rd pairs. Imagine Hayes/JT/Graber going against 3rd pairs night after night? They would feast!

        Stepan/Zucc/Kreider stay as a unit and Oskar/Fast and the AV flavor of the day can play the other wing. Sound so good (to me) it will never happen.

  • Jan 13, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Per Larry Brooks:
    “Marc Staal, officially in the NHL concussion protocol, did not practice and is sidelined for an indefinite period.”

    Only reason he’s not playing this weekend is because AV wants them to have a practice, right?

  • Jan 13, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    I thought Pumpel still had a concussion. I haven’t read he is past that. Any word?

    • Jan 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      On IR

  • Jan 13, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    This is what we know, based on the comments following practice yesterday and the morning skate today….

    Puempel is still dealing with his concussion. As far as I’ve heard, there is no timetable for his return.

    Staal seems to be in a better place with his situation. He is listed as day to day and AV says he is feeling better. He obviously won’t play tonight and it would be hard to imagine him playing tomorrow.

    Obviously, things can change when it comes to head injuries, but it appears we will see Staal back sooner than Puempel.

    As for Buch, he will play tonight for sure, but AV says that for now, to be safe with his back, he will not play in back to back games. So he will be scratched in Montreal.

    Defensive pairings in practice–


    PP units–

    1–McDonagh, Pirri, Kreider, Step, Zucc.
    2–Clendening, Buch, Hayes, Vesey, Nash

    Fast was a full participant in the morning skate. AV says Fast will be a game time decision. Brett Cyrgalis reports that Fast was smiling in the locker room and says he feels “better”. Cyrgalis opionin is he “looked ready”.

    Nash says “everything feels good”. AV says he’s “100%”

    Hrivik was skating as an extra defenseman, so it appears he will be the one scratched tonight.

    Zib skated this morning as well. Making strides towards a lineup return, probably next week.

    Andersen in goal tonight for Leafs. I haven’t seen anything on who is in goal for the Rangers, but I would assume it’s Hank.

    As an aside, Coach Babs said “I did my best” when Leafs were wooing Vesey this summer, but yet apparently never spoke directly to Vesey. That’s his best? Obviously, the Leafs either didn’t feel he was a priority or they got word that he really wasn’t interested in them.

    • Jan 13, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Staal may play again but he also may decide never to deliver or take another hit. I know I sure would avoid all contact if I had his concussion history and he already less physical than anyone in the regular D rotation. Team is in a tougher spot then. Maybe Fasth can learn to play D.

      • Jan 13, 2017 at 4:49 pm

        I never really thought Staal was a hitter, more a pusher, he never really was the type of player to lay hits on someone, more he seems to push people hard.

        Callahan was a hitter, he violently moved into guy to hit.

        thats how I see it.

        • Jan 13, 2017 at 5:02 pm

          Exactly. I don’t look to Staal to deliver big hits but to play defense you also have to be willing to be on the receiving end, recover and move the puck while being physically harassed by forecheckers.

    • Jan 13, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      Day-to-day means nothing beyond Staal hasn’t been placed on IR. They haven’t done it because they don’t need the roster spot(although I would argue it’s needed to call up Graves.) He’s currently on Day 11 of being day to day, can be placed on IR retroactively at any point now. Jan. 27th he’ll be eligible for LTIR.

  • Jan 13, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Do teams like the Rangers use the pregame video on ice to teach Xs & Os on ice for positioning drills?

    • Jan 13, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Positioning Drills! We don’t need no stinking positioning drills! (badges)

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