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Rangers face Sharks tonight, Vitali Kravtsov on bench again

November 19, 2022, 11:38 PM ET [88 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Rangers take on the Sharks tonight in the second game of their four-game road trip. New York lost 3-2 to Seattle on Thursday in a game where they played one real solid period out of the three. Following tonight's contest, the Blueshirts face the Kings on Tuesday and Ducks on Wednesday before coming home to take on the Oilers at home next Saturday and the Devils on November 28.

The lines will remain the same as Thursday with the only change Zac Jones in for Libor Hajek, which is what we expected. I just don't understand the decision coach Gerald Gallant is making as it relates to the forwards. The offense is struggling, the fourth line has no identity and the team as a whole has been very up-and-down. Vitali Kravtsov is now healthy after having the stomach flu and an infected tooth. But rather than trying him again on the second line with Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck, allowing Barclay Goodrow to slide to the fourth line and sit Ryan Carpenter, let's just stick with the status quo. i just don't understand this, not by any stretch of the imagination.

I understand keeping the Kid Line together. The complaints we had about them not seeing enough playing time seems to have been remediated. The argument that the second PP unit deserves more time still remains, but at least the trio is on the ice - save for Laf and Kakko getting benched in the overtime Thursday and Chytil playing 18 seconds - more than before. Unfortunately, the ice time and solid possession numbers haven't resulted in production, If that continues, then Gallant will have to break that group, but for now, despite the bad game Thursday, deserves another chance.

Igor Shesterkin will be between the pipes. I expect Jaroslav Halak to start one of the back-to-back games. Based on the schedule, I would start Igor on Tuesday and Halak on Wednesday, giving Shesterkin another day of rest before the Oilers game. But that may depend on the workload and end result tonight.

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