The injury bug is beginning to hit the New York Rangers. Kevin Rooney was added to the injured reserve list and coach Gerard Gallant said that it will be “week to week” for him. Asked about Kaapo Kakko, the coach said he hopes to have him back around the trade deadline date of March 21.
The Rangers added forward Tim Gettinger to the active roster, up from Hartford where he was fifth on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 22 points. He joins Jonny Broszinski who had been promoted earlier this week.
What it means is more work for Greg McKegg and probably a return to the lineup for Morgan Barron. The impact will not be on the offense where the bottom six has barely been generating any scoring, but Rooney had been one of the Rangers’ top penalty killers and a key contributor to the third best defense in the NHL.
Any more personnel issues moving forward and it may force Chris Drury’s hand when it come to the trade deadline. He has already been under pressure to beef up the bottom six and this will make it more imperative.
Of course, there is an option in Russia that has to be considered.
Kravtsov stars in KHL playoffs
Traktor Chelyabinsk took a 2-0 lead in the first round of the KHL playoffs, beating Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 2-1. Most notable for the Rangers is that Vitali Kravtsov scored both Traktor goals.
Kravtsov had been scoreless in the opener, but scored a power play and even strength goal to lead Traktor to the home win. He scored his first goal with the man advantage as time was about the expire in the first period.
It was a one-timer from the slot on a pass from Sergei Kalinin.
He scored the game winner about ten minutes into the second period, breaking a 1-1 tie. The goal came a rush and his shot was from just inside the blueline, definitely a soft goal.
The Rangers first round draft pick is still eligible to return to North America when the KHL playoffs are over. If he continues to play like this it’s a good news/bad news scenario. It’s good news as it will raise his trade value if he has no future in New York. It’s unknown whether the relationship is so fractured that he will never play for the Rangers again. In that case, a solid playoff performance will only enhance his trade value.
The bad news is if he could possibly suit up again on Broadway, the further Traktor goes in the playoffs, it will delay his return to New York. Traktor is a much better team than Neftekhimik and is expected to win the series easily.
Of course, another factor is the situation in Ukraine and how that could affect a possible return to North America.
Kravtsov has elevated his play in the KHL playoffs in the past. Last season he had two goals and four points in five games. In 2019 he had two assists in four games. In 2018 he scored six goals and had 11 points in 16 playoff games. In his career he has 11 goals and 20 points in 33 playoffs games including games he played as a 17-year-old.
The whole Kravtsov situations remains a fiasco for the Blueshirts with blame to be fixed on both sides. His rash departure from the organization after being sent to Hartford was an awful decision, but the team should never have allowed the situation to get so damaged.
At any rate, it will be interesting to see what Drury does when it comes to Kravtsov and if the player has no future as a Ranger, let’s hope he continues his hot scoring and raises his trade value.