Zibanejad to return tomorrow, Nieves to sit

December 18, 2017, by

Mika Zibanejad will return to the lineup tomorrow night against Anaheim. Zibanejad has been out since November 30 with a concussion, and the Rangers have struggled to find consistency in the wake of his absence. Zibanejad will be back on the top line with Pavel Buchnevich and Chris Kreider.

David Desharnais is moving down to the fourth line. Boo Nieves will be the scratch. Because we can’t have two good things in one day, apparently.

"Zibanejad to return tomorrow, Nieves to sit", 5 out of 5 based on 9 ratings.
Categories : Injuries


  1. Creature Feature says:

    I like the move. Desharnais has been playing well and should be rewarded. The options are Carey or Boo. I think Boo has not been playing as per his first 10 games and warrants a rest. If you wanted to move Desharnais to the 3rd line and move JT back to the wing, well JT had 2 pretty good games at center, so I think that just won’t happen.

    • Larry says:

      Where do you see Desharnais playing well? just because Desharnais was playing with the top lines in the absence of Mika, so he is playing well?

  2. Ray says:

    I thought it would be Desharnais sitting. I don’t dislike him and appreciate his effort, but Zib is back on the PP and Nieves has been getting time on the PK. I agree Boo hasn’t been the same, but still has some size and presence.

    I’m not a stats-only guy (or I’d have to call out Zib also being a -5 with Desharnais), but Nieves is a +8 in limited time on a 4th line.

  3. Andy says:

    Desharnais has been fine in a fill in role no one hoped he would have to fill in for, but scratch Nieves? M’kay

  4. Stevem says:

    I rather see DD tossing T-shirts in the seats

  5. Chris F says:

    Why is the Rangers medical staff rushing him back?

    It’s clear to anyone with a Magic 8-Ball, some tarot cards, and a boiling cauldron of eye of newt that Zibanejad has damage to his prefrontal cortex requiring a labotomy.

    I also stayed in a Holiday Inn last night, so I’m 90% sure this is accurate.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      10 thumbs up if possible! 🙂

      • pas44 says:

        Sorry E3, I checked, its medically impossible and undocumented in history to have 10 thumbs.

        Although, if you are prone to being clumsy, we can make an exception and say your rating of this post was “All Thumbs” which could mean both of yours were up, as in the Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel “2 Thumbs Up” sort of way.



    • Stevem says:

      I laughed so hard and coughed up a lung… Awesome comment👍👍

    • Richter1994 says:


    • Dave says:

      Well done.

  6. tanto says:

    Should have been Carey sitting based on merit. Hopefully this is just a 1 game rest for Boo who after all has never played more than 41 total “real” games in a season. There’s a long way to go in the season and he’s at 26 games already.

  7. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    This is one of those times that I break ranks with AV. The 4th line is working and I would not be anxious to break it up at the moment. So I would have sat DD. That being said, I also don’t think that DD is the tire fire player that some inaccurately make him out to be. So, I will wait and see. As for Boo, maybe this is AV’s tough love treatment of rookies that allows them to sit and reflect a bit in order to improve their game overall, which is a strategy I wholeheartedly endorse.

    • pas44 says:

      I agree, momentum should not be stopped in the case of the 4L. But AV has changed lines, benched players and wrecked more momentum then I care to recall.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        I would disagree with the characterization that he has “wrecked momentum”. The guy wins…and a lot. He usually makes changes like this when there is a lack of success, and then it is warranted. In this case, I disagree with it. Doesn’t mean he’s wrong and doesnt mean past changes have been wrong. Did the Islanders just do the same thing with Josh ho-Sang, a far better prospect than Nieves. Yes they did. Even worse…they sent him to the minors. Proving again that it is not an “AV Thing”, as it has been falsely chacterized.

        That being said, I wouldn’t overreact one way or another. In the grand scheme of things, one marginal NHL/AHL player is being replaced with another. Likely, the world won’t come to an end with this move.

        • genetics73 says:

          I always enjoy E3’s comments – they bring reason and hockey knowledge to the site. If not for those comments, and a few others, I would think more often than not that I am reading something that only Rangers’ haters would write. And if not haters, then ignorant whiners. Thank you, Eddie!Eddie!Eddie!

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            That is very kind of you Genetics. But on hockey knowledge, I am WAY down in the pecking order compared to a lot of guys out here. I’m just a passionate fan that loves a good debate and particularly enjoys and appreciates a fair and balanced discussion.

            But thank you again! 🙂

            • Richter1994 says:

              genetics is correct and you’re the anti-AV by being humble my friend.

            • genetics73 says:

              Be careful with the phrase “fair and balanced,” or you may be accused not only of being reasonable, but a right-wing extremist as well. 🙂

          • orangemike says:

            No Genetics you don’t understand; everyone on this board knows more than the coach. You’ve got it pretty much correct; the coach only has twenty years of NHL experience, whereas the posters on this board know all about charts and statistics and CV% and all that important neat great stuff. Depending on the day, the coach (doesn’t matter who the coach is, by the way, they’re all the same) is a fool/idiot/bozo/moron and should be fired immediately.

            Eddie always presents a well-reasoned argument, which is something we simply can’t have. If you want to have a reasonable discussion, you’re in the wrong place. On this particular night, I think Boo can probably use a rest. The world isn’t going to come to an end; we’ll all see if the team can continue this run of good play. It will be nice to have Z back.

            Enjoy your day, everyone. Regards- orange

        • pas44 says:

          But Ho Sang was making a multitude of mistakes, bad ones, prior to being sent down this last time, Boo on the other hand has been building a solid 4th line, which we need.

          I like DD, when I heard he was coming to the Rangers I was excited, he has character, fights hard and goes into every battle, I also think he has the back of being around the big plays.

          AV has done a few too many moves that left me head scratching.

          He wins, yes, but he has had solid teams too. He owes many of his wins to the lineups he has been given too.

    • Richter1994 says:

      “This is one of those times that I break ranks with AV.”

      Come on, admit it, it feels good doesn’t it?


  8. Mikeyyy says:


  9. Bloomer says:

    Glad to read that Zib is back and I hope that means he is fully recovered. De R eh stays in the lineup at Boo s expense. If DD doesn’t fit on the 4th line… I am sure AV will put him back in the pressbox.

  10. Lace says:

    The Rangers have no right handed shooters up front to begin with. They have 2 total if I’m not slightly mistaken. Zibanejad is the only righty pivot and Fast is the only righty winger.
    It’s no wonder the the PP hasn’t been very good in Zibanejads’ absence. Fast doesn’t play much on the man advantage leaving Zibanejad as the only off winger on the left side of the slot line. Having him back should give the Rangers a big boost up front in all situations.

    • Richter1994 says:

      The lefty right issue is very understated, meaning fans do not think that it’s a big deal but it actually is.

      • Chris A says:

        About 67% of the league shoots from the left so it’s only logical that some teams will always be short on right handed shots

  11. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Just more of AV’s BS Boo has been doing his and brings it every night. AV can’t resist putting more like forcing a vet in the lineup. The 4th line is far better with Boo driving it.

  12. Playground 9 says:

    Typical AV. This team is going nowhere as long as he is the coach. Bench Boo for DD – defend that anyone…..

    • genetics73 says:

      So, except for the 1994 miracle, where was this team before AV? How many times did the team reach the SC finals before AV? How many times did the team place first in the President trophy race?

      Try, do try some logical thinking. But not too much – the Surgeon General has determined that too much makes the brain go up in smoke, and smoking is dangerous to your health.

  13. Eugene says:

    DD over Nieves is complete marasmus

  14. wwpd says:

    Boo will be back

  15. Larry says:

    If you watch the games carefully, Desharnais does not do anything well.

    Desharnais basically is Tanner Glass without the ability to fight.

    • Chris A says:

      DD is 11th on the team in scoring, 15 points in 30 games.

      In what world can someone say that player is doing nothing?