Players

Don’t Panic: Pavel Buchnevich edition

pavel buchnevich
Bruce Bennet/Getty Images

The Rangers have played 10 games so far this season and a couple of things are starting to stand out. The most obvious one is that their speed is driving their offense, leading to a wealth of goals spread out fairly evenly across the roster. Another thing that’s plainly evident is that the Rangers’ young guns are really contributing in a meaningful way, whether it’s Jimmy Vesey, Kevin Hayes, or Mika Zibanejad. All of this speed and scoring might lead one to wonder however, about Pavel Buchnevich.

Buchnevich came into this season a much-hyped prospect whose KHL numbers invited comparisons to guys like Artemi Panarin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. He’s an adept playmaker and a responsible defensive forward, digging for pucks along the boards and setting up his linemates with timely passes. The one thing he hasn’t done yet at a time in season when the Rangers are scoring left and right (how about that shooting percentage?) is score a goal.

While this might be cause for some concern, I’m here to tell you that it’s actually all good. The first thing that needs to be said is that he’s a developing prospect and it’s early in the season – he’s probably not going to score a ton of goals anyways this season and he’s only just starting to adapt to the NHL game and the Rangers’ system. Although the KHL is a competitive league and he played well over there, there’s still a significant jump in the talent level between the KHL and NHL, and he has to learn a new system while also learning a whole new language, both of which would be hard enough individually.

It’s also important to note that he’s been injured for half of the Rangers’ games so far this season. There really isn’t a whole lot that needs to be said here; give him five more games and he likely pots at least one goal with the way these Rangers have been playing.

Lastly, there’s the numbers. Even with varying linemates (I would like to see him stick with Zibanejad, but it’s really alright because AV distributes ice time pretty evenly) he’s managed to put up a raw CF% of 59.17%. In terms of scoring chances he’s even better, logging a 66.67 SCF% through the five games he has played. His relative numbers look just as good – not only is he playing well objectively, but he’s also been playing well compared to the rest of the guys on the team. His relCF% is 9.75% and his relSCF% is 15.05%.

For a guy who can’t seem to find the back of the net, he sure is contributing to the offense in a serious way. It’ll come eventually, and when it does it’ll be great. All we have to do as fans is be patient, which I know can be tough sometimes with highly touted prospects, but it’s early and the Rangers are playing lights out anyways, so why worry about a guy with abnormally bad puck luck? He’s been right there a few times already so far, and it’s going to happen one of these days. Don’t panic.

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    • You’re right, I can see how this maybe came off as me projecting. I guess while I haven’t sensed any panic from users on this website, twitter, or otherwise, I wanted to preempt any “narrative” that may get spun over the coming weeks should his box score numbers stay low. I could just imagine the newspaper columns, and wanted to dispel that notion before it even gets off the ground.

      • I actually wasn’t saying that to you specifically, I was saying it to all in general.

        Kid is doing everything right except for scoring goals.

  • Buch has not (lately anyway) had the luxury of being paired with consistent vets who make the whole line better. I would suguest playing him with Zucc and Zbad or Hayes and JT consistently to get better results. Playing with Pirri and Fast won’t elevate your game. Even Oskar is a better linemate.

    Give Buch some confidence.

    • he is always around the net and the puck. like his presence. And his shot —wow. needs to use it more from the circles. will create uncontrollable rebounds at worst

  • If he doesn’t score next game trade him. Only kidding of course. He will be fine and I think he will end up on the 3rd line with Hayes n JT and trade spots with Grabner. Either way I think he’s gonna be fine. I would like to see him get a goal soon though just for his confidence. Zinbanejad is another guy who gets a ton of chances but isn’t scoring. He’s either hitting the post or shooting wide or blocked shots and everything else. But as long as they’re all creating chances and putting pressure on teams it’s still a help to the team and the goals will come.

  • Whose been voicing concerns over Buch, or any forward for that matter?
    The Ranger Offense is working like a finely tuned machine…
    Don’t touch anything!

    We should’t even be speaking about it this way….

    😉

    LGR!!!!

    OH MAN, Talbot Vs. Henrik

    Give the kid a nice ovation and then crush him! HENRIK HENRIK HENRIK!!!!

  • Eventually Grabner will move back down and Buch will be in the top 9. Buch is still seeing PP time.

    I’m not worried about this at all!!

    • I agree, I sort of think AV placed him on the 4th to get him back in there as far as timing etc.. while still playing his hot hand in grabner up line…

      make sense, so happy AV has these choices!

      LGR!!!

  • When he breaks out it will be big. Maybe even tonight.

    Sometimes motivation comes from the hype that others (McDavid) receive….

  • When Buch breaks through, it’s going to be YUGE. He’s going to be so great, that I can tell you. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it. He’s going to score goals like you’ve never seen before. He’s gonna be so great.

  • Time to bench Buch and bring up Glass! TG is tied for the Wolfpack team lead in goals! We could use that touch and toughness on the big club. Send the Buch down for seasoning. It is TG time!!!!!

  • I think Buch should go back to the line with Kreider & Z. He is comfortable with those two guys & that will maximize his success, because he can COMMUNICATE with those two. Zucchie goes with Hayes & Miller for an absolutely awesome line. Will AV do it? Not likely.

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