Welcome to the New York Rangers Weekly! The Rangers have two games remaining on their five-game road trip – tonight against the San Jose Sharks and Saturday vs. the Philadelphia Flyers. They have had mixed results in West so far, losing 5-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights on January 6, and then winning 4-1 against the Anaheim Ducks Jan 8. The Rangers’ last game on Jan. 10 was a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings and the team will be looking to get a win at the SAP Center in San Jose this evening. Let’s take a look at some of the news surrounding the Rangers this week.
Schneider Assigned to Rangers. Lundkvist Sent To Wolf Pack
Braden Schneider was Recalled by the Hartford Wolf PackTuesday, February 13, 2009 at the American Hockey League (AHL). Nils Lundkvist (Nathaniel), Tarmo Renanen, Tyler Wall were all sent to the Wolf Pack. Schneider has nine assists in 24 AHL games in 2021-22. The Rangers are interested in new players for their third defensive pairing. Kris Knoblauch has taken over as temporary Rangers coach after Gerard Gallant’s COVID protocol was completed on January 9. Knoblauch knows Schneider well from his coaching this year.
Similar: Rangers’ Best Third Defense Pair Might Be Playing in Hartford
Lundkvist was average in his rookie season for the Rangers. However, it is understandable that he was assigned the Wolf Pack because the coaching staff wants more production from the third defense pair. The 21-year old played in 25 games with the Rangers, scoring one goal and assisting on three others. Knoblauch wanted to know what Schneider could do in NHL.
“Whether it’s short term or long term, I’m just trying to seize every opportunity I get. Whether that’s in a practice or in a game. I’m just going to go out there and do what I do best. I want to show that I’m able to play at this level and I want to show that I belong here. So, if I can keep improving my game each day, I think that’s the main goal is still to try to get 1 percent better each day and keep a positive mindset while doing it.” (from ‘Highly touted prospect Braden Schneider is getting his Rangers chance, New York PostPatrik and Patrik were paired during practice. This is an indication that Patrik will be the Blueshirts’ third defensive pairing tonight.
Lafreniere to join Rangers Second Line with Panarin and Strome
Alexis Lafreniere’s inconsistent season in 2021-22 has been due to him being paired on multiple line combinations in an effort to increase his offensive output. While Artemi Panarin was in safety and health protocols, he was on the second-line with Ryan Strome. Lafreniere, back from COVID protocol, will be on the right wing.
Lafreniere commented on adjusting to his new position, “I have to adjust my game a little bit playing right wing, it’s a little bit different, but I’ll try to adjust as quick as I can and try to be ready for every game. It’s really fun [playing on that line]It is obvious. [Panarin]It is a pleasure to play with one of the most respected players in the league. I played left wing my whole life, so obviously I was more comfortable there, but I’m ready to adjust and change to right wing and try to play the best hockey I can. It’s obviously a little bit different coming back into your own end, and it might take a couple of games, but I’m comfortable with it.” (from ‘Alexis Lafreniere goes to right wing to stick in Rangers’ top six, New York Post, 1/12/22)
COVID Protocol Players, Hunt Out With Injury
Gallant was also placed in safety and health protocols on January 8th. Barclay Goodrow is in COVID protocol depuis Monday. Reaves, Julien Gauthier and Igor Shesterkin are both eligible to come back, but they have not been cleared. Thursday afternoon, Igor Shesterkin was cleared. Goodrow and the Rangers’ head coach would return to the lineup on Saturday against the Flyers.
Dryden Hunt was injured in the upper body and was placed on injured reserve. He was injured during last Thursday’s game against the Golden Knights. He’s played in 35 games. He currently has four goals and four assists in 2021-22.
Rangers will Look for a win tonightTheir head coach will remain in COVID protocol. Lafreniere still has the chance to play on the second team with Panarin or Strome. With 41 points, the Sharks share third place in Pacific Division with the Kings. The time for tonight’s game between the Rangers and Sharks is 10:30 EST.
Matt covers the New York Rangers/New Jersey Devils. Matt has previously written content for The Hockey Writers on the Philadelphia Flyers or the Pittsburgh Penguins. Follow the link to send an email or request a podcast interview. Matt on TwitterIt appears at the bottom of his articles.