On Buchnevich, expectations, and carving out a role

Pavel Buchnevich is a polarizing player. And let’s be real, it is mostly the fault of those –including myself– who hyped the kid up based on his KHL stats. In our defense, Buchnevich was the first truly elite potential prospect in the system in recent memory, and the stats were comparable to some current day stars. Suffice it to say, he hasn’t matched their NHL production…yet.

With Buchnevich bouncing around the lineup and now serving time as either a healthy scratch or Cody McLeod dragger, it’s no wonder that Buchnevich hasn’t been able to product consistently. Combine that with David Quinn’s comments, courtesy of Dan Rosen, and you have a potential fork in the road for the kid’s development.

Unless a draft pick is a true game changer, then it’s rare to see someone adjust to the NHL game quickly. Chris Kreider took several seasons to figure it out. Ditto JT Miller. We are now seeing that with Buchnevich.

Tom Urtz brings up a good point here, where Buchnevich and Kreider are almost identical in production through their first 147 games. Kreider entered the NHL around the same age as Buchnevich as well. So this isn’t the first time we’ve seen someone with great talent struggle to get acquainted to the NHL. It happens. Time and patience are a virtue here.

What we do know is that Buchnevich, despite the lineup yo-yoing and DQ’s comments, is a 40 point per season player. He put up 43 last season. He put up 20 in 41 games in his rookie season. This year he has 15 in 32, another 40 point pace. Is there all of a sudden something wrong with a 40 point player? I’ll take 10 Buchnevich’s over 10 McLeod’s. Skill is skill.

Which brings us to his role. Buchnevich can’t carry a line, at least not yet. But he shouldn’t be faulted for that, nor should he be faulted for not being able to drag McLeod around the ice.

When Buchnevich has been with good linemates who are of like-minded skill sets, he thrives. His best production came when he was the third with any combination of Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, Filip Chytil, or Vlad Namestnikov. That production goes off a cliff when he’s moved down in the lineup and playing with McLeod, Brett Howden (who has been absolutely atrocious for a while now, but we covered that already), or David Desharnais.

Perhaps, at some point, he needs to be put in a position to succeed and have his confidence grow. Even if he’s unable to carry a line, complementary players –especially those that can put up 40 points– are needed for team balance. Otherwise you wind up like the Oilers. And no one wants to go full Oilers. There’s nothing wrong with Buchnevich being a complementary player, but there’s also nothing saying he still can’t grow into more. Perhaps he needs to learn from like minded players, instead of fourth liners?

"On Buchnevich, expectations, and carving out a role", 5 out of 5 based on 16 ratings.

88 thoughts on “On Buchnevich, expectations, and carving out a role

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 6:12 am

    The bottom line is that, 5 on 5, Buch is one of the best per 60 scorers on the team. His primary assists far outweigh secondary assists.

    We don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, but doesn’t production on the ice overcome everything else?

    The Rangers are really a dumb organization. This guy should have been in the top 6 all along this season to evaluate whether to keep him or trade him. Playing him on the 4th or benching him just to make a point is insane.

    So, if he gets traded because he has a bad attitude and then tears it up somewhere else, then we could just chalk up another player wasted on this team. And it’s not like they’re oozing with talent.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 7:55 am

      Rangers cannot score . So it makes sense to put someone who can score on a line with 2 tomato cans.. There are a lot of offense first players in the league. Other coaches manage with them, as long as they don’t have too many. Quinn seems to me to gravitate toward the under talented, over-achieving guy.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 8:34 am

        for such a heralded scorer buchnevich is – he averages 1.56 shots per game for his nhl career which is not going to cut it for an ideal top 6 role under Quinn. (for comparison sake Kreider is at 2.2, mika at 2.31, zucc even – 2.07)

        • Jan 31, 2019 at 4:27 pm

          Again, his pts per 60 are close to the top as far as the Rangers are concerned.

          So, for a team that has trouble scoring goals, you would think that playing this player in the top 6 would be a no brainer.

          And if he doesn’t cut it over the long-term, then trade his ass. But at least you would know to cut bait at that time.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 4:25 pm

        “Quinn seems to me to gravitate toward the under talented, over-achieving guy.”

        That will get us a Cup soon for sure (said with dripping sarcasm).

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 4:49 pm

      This year, Buch is middle of the pack at P60 5v5, bunched with Howden, Chytil & Zucc.

      Last three years he’s in a 2nd tier behind Hays & Kreider, grouped with Zucc & Nash.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 5:25 pm

        “This year, Buch is middle of the pack at P60 5v5, bunched with Howden, Chytil & Zucc.”

        Missing 13 games de to injury, 4 games for healthy scratch, and being nailed to Cody McLeod.

        So where’s the bad news?

        • Jan 31, 2019 at 5:35 pm

          Merely a statement of fact.

          Minutes not played don’t affect P 60, minutes played with McLeoad do. If his historical numbers were applied to this season, he’d still be in a 2nd tier well behind Hayes & Krieder in your preferred metric.

          • Jan 31, 2019 at 5:49 pm

            Ok, I wasn’t sure where you were going with this.

            My point of the games missed is not directed at the pts per 60, but how disjointed his season has been and how he has not had the opportunity to get into any kind of rhythm or flow.

            But his #s are top 6 applicable.

            • Jan 31, 2019 at 6:18 pm

              Just ran his P60 at both 5v5 & PP, with last year’s P60 average and gave him 1st line(1000) & PP1(300) minutes: he would max out at 46 points, not far off his actual 43.

              He’d be top 6 in scoring on a bad team, which is what he did. Until he gets his P60 up to over 2, the team will still be bad.

            • Jan 31, 2019 at 6:22 pm

              That’s P60 of 2 at 5v5. If he got his PP P60 up to Zibanejad levels, he’d be flirting with 70pts.

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 7:18 am

    Wow, similar stats to Kreider! No doubt Kreider spent more time on lines with quality players. Can you imagine Kovalev playing his first few years on the 3rd or 4th lines when those lines were even less talented than they are today? I would venture to guess 2nd and 3rd tier elite players would struggle to carry our 4th line. Talk about being set up to fail. Imagine being an American kid being sent to the KHL under similar circumstances. This is a bit different situation than AV throwing Hayes and JT in the doghouse all season long. I hope the kid gets traded to someone like the penguins and starts lighting it up.

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 7:26 am

    After reading the numbers on both Kreider, and Buch, there is something really wrong with this picture. Like Tony above, I would also keep him on the top six, leave him there till the end of the season, and then weigh the options. If he refuses to conform in the way he practices, and or continues to have a poor attitude, well ship him out, but don’t do so until he hangs himself based on his play.

    Having said all of the above, to compare Buch to Kreider is nuts. Chris is a moose, Buch reminds me of Twiggy. If he committed to putting on some muscle mass on his frame, he would be much more effective. Someone made the observation last week that Buch is an unhappy camper, never smiles, and doesn’t seem to care very much. Management should get a Russian psychologist to sit down and see if he doesn’t have some mental issues. This is by no means a put down, but the kid looks depressed, and may need that type of help.

    A final note, he couldn’t get along with AV, and the same holds true for DQ. Is it the coaching, or is it the kid. It may be a bit of both, but there has to be more to it than what we know, and see!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 8:14 am

      I agree with you Walt and with Tony, get him onto the top six and leave him there consistently until the end of the season. That way you can evaluate whether he is worth committing to or not. Bouncing him around the lineup and sitting him in the press box isn’t going to tell you enough about Buchnevich as a player to make a full assessment. Let him audition for a spot on the team for the next three months.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 4:28 pm

        Exactly guys, this isn’t rocket science, though it appears like the Rangers’ FO is trying to make it that way.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 10:23 am

      Gretzky was a twig and taught everyone a lesson. So Buch is doing the same thing with less muscle. Would you smile if you were playing for this development genius?
      Don’t get me started on the coach. AV thought he could win with Tanner Glass and we all know it was not possible. Where is your shinny cup AV?

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 1:44 pm

        Your right, this kid is the second coming of Wayne Gretzky……………..

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      Muscle mass? That isn’t the problem, go watch Johnny hockey who has a Skittles and soda diet over the summer or Wayne Simmonds who is built like a Slim Jim. I rather poke fun at his skating which seems to set him back around the boards.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 1:47 pm

        With his narrow ass, he has an aversion for contact. Wayne Simmons is a man, this kid is a wimp!!!!!

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Whatever is not right with Buch, its on him,

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 8:55 am


    • Jan 31, 2019 at 10:40 am

      What kind of logic is that? Patrick Ewing can’t dunk when Van Dummy is wrapped around his legs and its Patrick’s fault? Lets put it this way, If someone breaks your fingers why cant you bowl? Or Why can’t your sled dogs go if you have your anchor on? Is it Buch’s fault for being on the team? If the ice turns into water it’s Buch’s fault? If the coach has a hemorrhoid its Buch’s fault? If the coach hates Russians its Buch’s fault? If the damn breaks in Brazil it’s Buch’s fault?
      I can go on all day.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 6:16 pm

      So not playing a player that has career top 6 #s in the top 6, who is that on?

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 8:04 am

    I don’t really like the comparison to Kreider – his skillset is just so much more explosive then buch’s. his shot production is a lot more, he gets 4 or 5 hits a game, net front presence.

    Your conclusion is that he is a 40 point player – some thing ive said for a while. now just thinking aloud here – is that what the production and shot output for out top 6 forwards should be? like can we raise the standards a bit? (hopefully quinn is doing that)

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 11:19 am

      When Kreider is on the ice, every opposing player is aware of where he is. He’s entirely capable of running them over or skating right by them, and they have to be ready for either approach. When he gets to the front of the net, he’s going to stay there until he decides to move. Buch, on the other hand, well, sometimes he’s just invisible. He needs space to make an impact, and sometimes he either can’t, or won’t, create that space for himself.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 3:13 pm

        While that may be true, Joe. Kreider didn’t always play that way. He went through his share of growing pains, but he gets a bye, deservedly so, for the way he came up in the playoffs as a rookie. It was electric, and he was so anointed. Pavel doesn’t have that on his side. Having said that, at this time, I side with the coach on this issue. You just can’t have the insane young running the asylum. regardless of the talent he has. We are rebuilding, we can afford to wait for Buch to sprout, but first he must learn how the NHL works, and play like a man. The coach is trying to create a certain winning attitude, and you just can’t give some pouting little millennial ( or Z, or whatever), that has been handed everything his entire life, big time minutes on the top lines because he has displayed a little skill. First, let him display something that resembles “team first” attitude! We have him wrapped up for a couple more years, there’s time.

        • Feb 1, 2019 at 1:02 pm

          Players being rightfully pissed off about being jerked around the lineup and being held to different standards than others is not unique to any one generation. Why are you assuming Buch has been handed anything? Sure looks like the opposite to me, frankly; seems he is having to earn things that other players on this roster are being or have been given. While Buch is on this roster, Cody McLeod should never be playing while Buch sits without injury, for example. Literally, never. McLeod is no longer at an NHL skill level. That’s just really dumb, yet it flies in the NHL because Grumpy Old Man Narratives. Maybe Buch heard that Quinn would be so much better with development, assumed he finally would get a sustained shot in the top six (because that’s the smart place to put his skill set – not because the lines are some sort of privilege from first to last) and allowed to grow through his mistakes rather than get his wings clipped every time he makes one…and, it might as well be AV still. Nothing has really changed. That’s gotta be disappointing to some of the players – as a fan, I know it is real disappointing to me. Prospect after prospect, young players just are not often hitting their projected ceiling in this organization of late. Sorry, but that’s not sheer coincidence, and it’s not all on the players. They’ve had two coaches in a row that were not known for player development. Now they have one who was given that label…but maybe shouldn’t have been, considering he’s not innovating much in this area that I can tell and has been doing things essentially the same way as the more draconian reputations around the league. The folks who disliked the Quinn hire noting that he was given a steady stream of high end potential in college due to where he coached and didn’t really achieve eye-popping results when that was considered…they’re looking pretty correct, at the moment. Hopefully that changes.

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 8:13 am

    Over rated , over hyped…
    Trade his lazy moody pouting butt.
    Dont see the value….
    Swap him for Burakovsky…

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 2:10 pm

      You sound like the people that wanted to get rid of Kovalev. People that don’t learn are doomed to repeat it.

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 8:22 am

    Buch could be a 40 point guy, but that is not Pavel Bure territory. He needs to play a complete game on the ice and have a team first attitude off the ice. While none of us know for sure why Buch watches from the pressbox, you have to figure he is either not following instruction or is not a good locker room presence. This is a developmental year for the NYR. THe whole team needs to adjust to the coaches and the fact that while they play to win, they are not a real playoff team.

    How about we ask Buch to own some of these issues? Maybe he needs to change his style, attitude or effort. Coach Quinn has a style, like it or not – but it is up to Buch to change because the coach is here for 2-3 more years.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      ” Dogging it at practice ” lol

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 1:50 pm

        sounds like the hang nail syndrome hit again!!!!!!!

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 9:15 am

    Dave, Why are my comments always waiting moderation?

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 10:01 am

      Don’t edit them, if you do they will always await moderation.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 12:24 pm

        What I do – and I presume others have figured this out is “when I want to edit, choose edit, make my edit, but then cut and paste the comment into a new comment and delete the old one.”

        • Jan 31, 2019 at 1:42 pm

          Considering I can’t monitor the comment queue 24/7, this is a good workaround.

          • Jan 31, 2019 at 4:30 pm

            Why not!! 🙂

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Let’s make this official, I’m Buch’s biggest fan on this blog. lol

    I heard a rumor that DQ was a coach who can work with young talent, a coach that was flexible enough to understand that each player has a different personality matrix and that each player needs to be treated according to their personal makeup. Well I may have been misinformed. AV tried the stick on Buch, it didn’t work … now DQ is doing the same. Time to buy some carrots.

    Sure Buch is a little mercurial and sometimes seems indifferent, but you can’t deny his talent. Just like you can’t fit a square peg into a round hole, you can’t turn a fine wine into beer. Ever since he got here he’s been on a short leash, never allowed to make a mistake without some repercussion — that will make anyone nervous and hesitant, over time that will create unnecessary stress and lead to moodiness and depression. I say if X isn’t working, try Y and so on. Put Buch in the Top 6 for the remainder of the season, give him more ice time with better players, give him more responsibility not less. Remove the shackles of some misguided conception that he’s got to be this gritty North American 200 foot North-South player — that’s not Buch, he’s a thoroughbred not a sau or a plough horse.

    Accept him for what he is or move on — and if you’re going to move on then at least put him in a position where he can increase his value.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 9:44 am

      Well said Tanto. Even more disappoint in DQ after reminding me of his philosophy coming in.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 9:53 am

        Nowadays a coach needs to be part psychologist — you have to read your players and come up with differing strategies to promote their mental well-being.

        Re: comments waiting to be moderated, if you “edit” the comment it will be awaiting moderation — so think real hard before you post. 😉

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 9:54 am

      Yes, Buch has the talent to be a scorer in this league, but there is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Buch is a moody player that needs to mature or else might find himself being bounced around the league like a yo-yo.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 10:00 am

        Yes, but it’s also the organization’s responsibility in PART to help that process along, especially when you take a young player from Russia and bring him to NA — some people don’t “adapt” quite as well as others, especially when they don’t have a strong support network to guide and nurture them. It’s great that Chris Kreider speaks a little Russian, but it’s not enough.

        • Jan 31, 2019 at 12:52 pm

          I think we all forget that hockey culture comes with a certain social structure. Hockey player’s in Canada/NA tend to come from upper middle class-rich families. Europeans are no different, so Buch may be bit of a high maintenance type of player. Possibly a mama’s boy? Kravstov wants to get here right now while it took a minute to talk Buch into leaving. Buch bad mouthed AV and literally said the same stuff about Quinn but added (he explains why he’s doing something ).

          I remember reading something how Ovi came from a extremely sheltered lifestyle. He had everything given to him compared to other Russian player’s.

        • Jan 31, 2019 at 4:34 pm

          Remember when you yelled at me for being too negative?

          I tried to tell you and others that the FO doesn’t know what it’s doing. You’re finally starting to see the light.


      • Jan 31, 2019 at 10:04 am

        If I had his skill and was always playing a man down (ie McLeod) I’d be real moody as well. He doesn’t seem like the type that can unwind with the ladies or bevvies like the rest of the young crew.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 10:56 am

        Kind of Pessimism!

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 10:33 am

      This maybe symatics a bit but Thoroughbred implies straight away speed think kreider, chytil. i don’t think I’ve seen buch go end to end for a goal once. So I think that’s a mischaracterization.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 10:48 am

        This is the dumbest remark you’ve ever made on this site; given your track record I guess that’s impressive. Why do you find it so easy to ignore the skills of European playmaking forwards?

        Your post is literally steaming with confirmation bias—it’s all based on your own biased anecdotal memory of a player you don’t like.

        Lastly, the five-cent word you were looking to drop early in your post is semantics.

        • Jan 31, 2019 at 11:12 am

          That’s hyperbole MC, he has a lot of competition for the dumbest remark he’s ever made on this site. It’s like every day produces a candidate for that title.

          • Jan 31, 2019 at 12:14 pm

            Haha, right?

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 10:46 am

      No, I am Buch’s biggest fan. 220 Pounds.

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 10:05 am

    I remember a “moody” Russian who played for the Rangers and tried their patience, but went on to be a pretty fine player in the NHL. I wouldn’t give up on Buchnevich before giving him a full chance to make his case for the top six.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 10:43 am

      Assume you mean Alexei Kovalev, Peter? If so how right you are. Kovalev had some really good years after leaving the Rangers.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 11:03 am

        Yes MC, the mercurial Mr. Kovalev was a huge talent and when he finally harvested it he put up some great numbers and played good hockey.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 10:46 am

      And even Keenan was giving him 5 min shifts. lol

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 10:48 am

        Keenan adjusted.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 3:11 pm

      The Rangers hardly gave up on Kovalev. They traded him for Petr Nedved, who had scored 170 points in his two previous NHL seasons. That is hardly a dump of a disappointing player. Yes, that trade was a mistake, but not because they undervalued Kovy, but because they overvalued a player who got great numbers when he played with great linemates.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 3:49 pm

        Uh what?

        The Rangers did dump Kovalev because Colin Campbell grew tired of him.

        And who did they trade him for? The very player Mark Messier ran out of town after one lockout shortened season. So the Rangers were very aware of who they were trading for.

        • Jan 31, 2019 at 5:09 pm

          You’re right John—and then the Rangers reacquired Kovalev in the 02-03 season and then dumped him again near the end of the 03-04 season! He had 3 very good years in Montreal after the 04-05 lockout, getting 65 points or more in each season.

          • Jan 31, 2019 at 5:29 pm

            And all this has zero bearing on a guy like Panarin coming here? lol

            • Jan 31, 2019 at 5:54 pm

              We don’t need Panarin when we have our Championship caliber first line of
              LW Brendan Smith; C Ryan Strome; and RW Cody McLeod.

              Throwing the Pionk / Staal our with them would just make other franchises fold and forfeit before the game.

              • Jan 31, 2019 at 6:19 pm

                See, IF they did this right, and that’s a big IF, they cold make this team a playoff team for next year.

                But I do not have that kind of faith, right now. Maybe they shock us?

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 11:24 am

    I have a really simple question regarding Buchnevich. If. as so many people seem to think, he’d be a really good player if only he was put on a line with good players, why is that even when he’s put in that situation, he can’t stay there? He’s had shots playing with Kreider, Zbinejad, Zuccarrello, and Hayes. It’s not that he’s not allowed to play with them, but for some reason, he can’t make the kind of impression that would convince a coach to keep him there.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 11:52 am

      I am totally convinced that Buch will be traded..I can’t see him changing his style or whatever is bothering him because the coach wants him to play a certain way. This player has had two coaches at the NHL level and is still having issues…but I do agree to let him play on the top line and see if he can produce and become a better all-around player. The clock is pointed due west on Buch……

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 12:01 pm


      • Jan 31, 2019 at 12:12 pm

        Yeah, these coaches are just so right though—look at all the Stanley Cups Vigneault and Quinn have won. Those zero championships really set the tone in terms of them knowing what makes a player into a winner at the NHL level, now don’t they?

        The overarching point here with Buchnevich is that the Rangers have been a bad hockey team for the last three seasons, using whatever old-school methodologies Quinn and Vigneault brought to their various rosters. What do they have to lose in terms of turning Buchnevich loose in the top 6? NOTHING, BECAUSE THE TEAM SUCKS. At some point a prospect has to be given responsibility and not turned into a target of blame due to cultural and personal differences. That’s true for both the Russian Buchnevich and the New Jerseyan DeAngelo.

        All you Buchnevich bashers conveniently ignore the fact that his latest benching actually hurt the team’s chances of winning their last game. That’s on the coach. Deployment? That’s on the coach.

        Who wants smirking jackasses like Scott Gomez on their team? I’d rather have a player that looks like they’re going to die when they lose. It shows that they actually really care, not that they’re indifferent.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 11:53 am

      Why are you using sound logic on this sight? Get on board that Buch is great and Quinn is a horrible coach! Must be the freezing temps in Newburgh this morning.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 12:03 pm


      • Jan 31, 2019 at 4:43 pm

        Or Sal maybe Buch is good and DQ like AV before him plays favorites or thinks the only proper way to motivate a player is by burying him on the 4th line with a cement head, or better yet banish him to the press box over and over again.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 4:41 pm

      You’re right Joe! Whenever Buch has a “meh” couple of games he gets demoted to the 4th line, the same exact treatment every other player in our Top 6 gets … like Zucc who sucked salty balls for 25+ games, like Kreider in the past or Mika and Hayes, etc. Then you have a kid like Howden who goes 20+ games without scoring a goal and mustering what, 2-3 assists, and DQ keeps trotting him out there. Buch doesn’t own the title of most inconsistent player on this club yet he gets the harshest treatment … from both AV and now DQ — the same for ADA. Maybe it’s time for a different treatment, because doing the same thing over and over again when it doesn’t work is insanity.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 5:52 pm


        Put the same criteria on the rest of the team as Buch, then the Rangers would have to forfeit just about every game.

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Wow, If you look at the chart above you will see he does well when place on the right lines. Please check out the chart above.The coach likes Fast on the fist line too but that can’t be answered either. I worked in a factory as a kid working on conveyors and also experience being picked on by my boss. One day I had completed 4 conveyors in one day and the boss was trying to admonish me because I was having a good time and brought me into the office. Luckily, I knew the manager and let them know how I worked that day and that the boss was full of shit. They sent me back to work and did not hear anything come out of it.
    Everyone has felt that, Maybe not everyone.
    Fight back Buch! You know your skill, that coach was not as skilled as you and can’t teach what you have. Coach go back to College and ruin someone else’s life.
    Gretzky had skill but could not teach his skill.

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    I used to believe that Buch had big-time potential. But this is now 2 diff coaching staffs that are seeing the same issues with him. It definitely has to do with his off-ice behavior and habits when he’s getting scratched after 9 days off.

    It’s on him and him alone now. He either shapes up, or he’s gone pretty soon. DQ sat Namestnikov early this season and he turned it around for the most part. He’s now harder on the puck, along the boards, and crashing the net much more. Buch has to follow that example.

    When Buch and Vesey started in the NHL together, it was obvious to me that Buch was the better talent with more upside. I’m not so sure now. Buch does have more talent IMO. But Vesey plays better in this system right now. Surprised we haven’t seen Buch in too many trade rumors so far, cuz I have a feeling he may be part of a deal by the 25th. I can easily see him as a sweetener like Gorton did with JT Miller last season.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 4:38 pm

      That’s because this system is built for protypical 3rd liners with less skill with their hands and feet. Of course garbage goal Vesey thrives in it. Don’t get me wrong, I like Vesey in a 3rd line role but Buch’s hands deserves 1st or 2nd lime minutes and linemates. Simple as that.

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    In his second season, Chris Kreider had 38 even strength points in 80 games, Buchnevich had 26 in 74 games. Comparable players, hardly. Last year, Buchnevich had 17 PP points, a number achieved only eleven times by Rangers in the AV era. Production-wise, last season, the KBZ line was horrendous at even strength. Buch did do somewhat better with different linemates but the notion that he is this great 5 v 5 player is a myth.

    151 forwards got 40 points last year, roughly five per team. Most did so under less favorable circumstances than Buchnevich. The key though is that there is a big difference between merely good production and stellar production. With simply good production, we also must ask the question “What else does he bring to the game?” You simply cannot judge a 40 point player by his production.

    This is a tricky point (where is E3 when we need him?). Deciding what to do with Buchnevich requires more information than we here have. DQ and company have more information. They watch the guy practice. They see what brings. They are making more informed decisions than we can make.

    Yes, they may be idiots and they may be wrong because of it, but our evidence is not conclusive. My own take so far is that DQ is not up to the job (preliminary take – would not replace him without a longer trial), but Buchnevich is something he is getting right. Remember, when he was a rookie, AV correctly benched him in the playoffs to play the more effective Tanner Glass.

    Would I trade Buchnevich for a fourth rounder? Absolutely not. How about for a late first and a late second? I think I would. Personally, I am hoping someone will overpay as teams often do on deadline day.

    Important point that everyone overlooks: Players do not improve simply because they are young. Players improve because they want to improve, are willing to work at it, and have things they can improve on. The third is often associated with youth, but the first two are associated with character. A kid Buch’s age who wants to get better likely will. Such a kid who thinks he is already good enough will not. And guess what? Buch is already good enough to play in the NHL.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 2:04 pm


    • Jan 31, 2019 at 3:28 pm

      I sorely miss E3’s incite as well, he added a lot to this blog.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 4:52 pm

      “Players improve because they want to improve, are willing to work at it, and have things they can improve on. The third is often associated with youth, but the first two are associated with character. ”

      Ray Ray Ray, STOP. What kind of character do you think it takes to develop the type of hands and potentially feet skills that Buch has right now? (I am not saying he’s fast but does have good edge work.) Now if you said he lacks maturity or Hockey IQ then you might be on to something. I would also say luck plays a big part in one’s success (ie coach, linemates, etc) and lately he’s getting the sh*t end of that stick. There is clearly a double standard on this team and he will remain the whipping boy for the rest of DQ’s tenure. He’s broke and will excel elsewhere when he has a corner man (‘grinder’) and finisher on his line.

      • Jan 31, 2019 at 6:33 pm

        Sure, a McDavid-Matthews-Buchnevich line could really score. Nothing you are saying is relevant. Buchnevich is a good hockey player – as is everyone in the NHL, including McLeod. And everyone in the AHL for that matter. Buch is better than some and worse than others. He is presently good enough to be useful, not good enough to matter much. The question at hand is whether or not he will improve. And a big factor in his future improvement is whether he thinks its matters and if he is wiling to listen and to work at it.

        I read a baseball forecast book years ago and the author (with lots of numbers t0 back himself up) asserted that the best predictor of a hitter’s second season numbers were his first season numbers. One should not factor in improvement. Once a player is good enough to get to the show, he no longer has any urgency to become a better hitter and is as likely as not to plateau.

        Pavel Buchnevich is a talented kid who is already good enough to be an NHLer and he knows it. From all indications, he is not any better than he was as a rookie and has no need or desire to improve.

        A good coach does not have one standard. He has 23 standards, one for each player. Chityl is a teenage rookie. Buch is a third year player. Staal is a veteran who likely knows more about hockey than Quinn does. Hank is a HOF goalie. Zuccarello is a gritty player soon to be traded. Do you really treat any two of these guys the same?

        Double standard is some kind of insult here. What it really means though is intelligence.

        • Jan 31, 2019 at 8:22 pm

          That baseball example is a load of garbage. A good portion of offensive baseball stats are 100% on the individual. In hockey there are far more dependencies because of the team aspect of play. Go enter a professional fantasy baseball league and draft your team base solely on the previous year’s stats. Let me know if you even finish in the third quartile in standings.

    • Feb 1, 2019 at 1:27 pm

      The confidence with which you make completely incorrect statements like “the more effective Tanner Glass” is truly enviable. I’d like to hear more about “Most did so under less favorable circumstances than Buchnevich.” For someone who insists that things need to be so well fleshed out, that seems like an awful presumptive and unfounded statement to me, at a glance.

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Buchnevich’s P60 at ES the last 3 years is 1.76; better than Zibanejad and better than Kreider’s 1.50 his 1st 3 seasons.

    On the PP, he’s 3rd to Zibanejad & Zucc in P60.

    At this point either you’re gonna let Buch be Buch and try and earn points or you’re gonna try and fix his issues while you’re tanking/not tanking.

    I still don’t understand why people here can’t understand that every decision made in the short term is under the prism of this team trying to learn how to play to the coach’s standard, all the while losing.

    Roster choices sub optimal? Check
    Overuse the aging goalie when 10 year old sports science tells you it’s a bad idea? Check
    Overly demanding of the wrong players? Check

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    If a guy is going to play hard for 7 ES shifts per game, he will have good P60 if the coach is smart enough to limit his ice time. It is comparatively easy for a lazy player to score well on the P60 test.

    • Jan 31, 2019 at 3:28 pm

      Hence Boo’s P60 at ES over 2

  • Jan 31, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    So he has an attitude and the GM lets two coaches get that attitude in the way of developing his hockey talent and diminish his trade value.

  • Feb 1, 2019 at 9:12 am

    His trade value is only relevant if you plan on trading him, I don’t think that is in the Rangers plans. That’s why they are trying to straighten him out, they want him on the team, playing as a team member.

    • Feb 1, 2019 at 10:22 am

      Your likely right. They shouldn’t trade him. But, if they don’t give him minutes, it creates the question, why not? And if that gets in his head, or other GM’s, it doesn’t help. Last night playing top minutes sure made him smile.

  • Feb 1, 2019 at 11:50 am

    I think DQ wants him to be more responsible defensively. But sometimes a player is just what he is and isn’t going to change. He’s a very talented offensive minded fwd. Just let him do what he does best. I foresee them trading him, and he will go on to score 40 goals and help another franchise win a cup.

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