ondrej pavelec

It’s Saturday morning folks, and the Rangers are almost done with their 10 home games in October. This weekend we have the Montreal Canadiens in Montreal, followed by the Vegas Golden Knights at home on Halloween, and then we return to a semi-normal schedule of mixed home and away games. Given what a long strange trip it’s been, I figured some Saturday morning quick hits were in order to kind of sum up what’s been going on both of late and over these past ten games or so.

  • I’d be remiss if I didn’t respond to the notion that the Rangers’ hot hand is currently Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec has been just fine, and what we’ve seen from him so far is likely what we’ll be getting from him throughout the season, but let’s not overstate things. He played anĀ ok game against an awful team – it wasn’t even a shutout! If AV is serious about reducing Hank’s workload then fine, but if he’s playing Pavelec because he gives them the best chance to win, well, he doesn’t.

  • One of the most obvious and maybe the most infuriating coaching deficiency over the past month has been AV’s lineup roulette. The total lack of consistency with the lines/pairings, which defeats any chance for chemistry, is simply mind boggling. Especially given how good Pavel Buchnevich has been, especially given that the world is crying out for a McDonagh/Shattenkirk pairing, and especially given that you gave up your number one center for a guy who you just sent back to Hartford. It’s just crazy. Somethings got to give, but unfortunately, per Bob McKenzie’s comments (as discussed this week on the podcast) it may be a trade rather than a coaching change first. Barf.
  • That said, since the Vegas Golden Knights apparently don’t have any intention of actually playing Vadim Shipachyov, the Rangers would be idiots not to at least inquire about acquiring the center. There is a little bit of risk involved in trading for a guy who’s never played in the NHL and who carries a not insubstantial cap hit, but it could be a high risk/high reward situation the Rangers could capitalize on.
  • Even if the Shipachyov thing doesn’t work out, and even if the Rangers don’t fire AV, they should still be kicking the tires on guys like Matt Duchene, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, or Alex Galchenyuk. Obviously you don’t want to pay the rumored price for Galchenyuk of Chris Kreider, but if the right deal can be made then the Rangers should totally go for it.
  • While the Rangers certainly are in dire straights as far as the standings go, it’s not inconceivable that they could right the ship if they play both a trade and a coaching change right. Teams have done it before on both ends of that spectrum, and if the Rangers manage to pull off both then watch out. Of course the most likely scenario is that we don’t make enough of a change (AV to Ruff isn’t great) or overpay for a center, but one can dream.


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