When the Rangers skate against the Canucks at the top of the hour, they’ll do so without Pavel Buchnevich. As was feared, he suffered a serious injury to his hand in the shootout win at Columbus. Seen gripping his hand late in regulation, the 23-year old Russian right wing didn’t take a shift in overtime.
I knew what that meant. As it turns out, Buchnevich suffered a broken thumb. He is expected to miss between four to six weeks. It’s too bad because he had just started to get it. Following a benching, he had played much better putting up two goals and two assists in the last three games.
That included a goal and primary helper on Saturday. David Quinn wanted Buchnevich to be more aggressive. He had been playing a game more physical and gritty game to go with his skill. Now, we won’t see him for at least a month. He’s 5-4-9 in 14 games for the season.
He had regained his job on the top line with Zibanejad and improving Russian Vladislav Namestnikov. At least for tonight, the overly disappointing Ryan Spooner gets the first chance over Filip Chytil, who remains buried on the fourth line centering Cody McLeod and Vinni Lettieri. I don’t get it. Spooner has stunk. Chytil actually has played better despite minimal minutes.
Hopefully, Quinn comes to his senses. Lias Andersson stays with Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider on the second line. Brett Howden is with Jimmy Vesey and Jesper Fast. He didn’t change much.
The Blueshirts will definitely feel the loss of Buchnevich. Hopefully, he heals quickly and comes back the same improved player.