Pavel Buchnevich’s exit from Rangers practice shrouded in mystery
Pavel Buchnevich left training camp early for an undisclosed reason Saturday.
“Under league policy, I’m not allowed to elaborate on injuries,” coach David Quinn said.
The league announced last week that teams will be barred from disclosing injuries or cases of the coronavirus beginning in training camp 2.0. The NHL and NHL Players’ Association released a statement regarding their new injury policy, saying it “was adopted out of respect for an individual player’s right to medical privacy.”
There was no noticeable incident that led to Buchnevich’s departure from the ice, but he did not finish out practice after leaving midway through.
The Russian winger is in his fourth season with the Rangers, which has proven to be his most successful yet. He posted 16 goals and a career-high 30 assistant in 68 games for the 2019-20 regular season.
Buchnevich also saw ample time on the first line this season with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, who he’s been skating with for the majority of training camp so far.
The Rangers found a deadly offensive rhythm just before the regular season was suspended in March, catapulting themselves to one of the top-five scoring teams in the league.
So as the first week of training camp wraps up, Quinn has shifted his attention to the defensive side of things.
“These last few days we’ve been talking with the defenseman in particular,” Quinn said. “One of the things we’ve been trying to harp on is our gaps and that’s something that we have to constantly remind our defenseman. That it’s going to be very important against a team like Carolina, taking away time and space from them.”
Though the Rangers edge out the Hurricanes in most offensive categories, Carolina’s numbers on defense speak for themselves. The ’Canes allowed an average of 2.84 goals per game and 193 goals in total, which is good for the ninth-lowest of the 31 NHL teams.
The Rangers tied with the Wild for an average of 3.14 goals allowed per game, the ninth-highest in the league.
Defenseman Jacob Trouba said he believes the biggest energizer for defense in the postseason is the fans in the crowd. Considering that won’t be possible in the NHL’s “bubble” in Toronto, Trouba is banking on feeding off of his teammates.
“I think it’s going to be really reliant on your teammates and I guess the bench to really keep the energy and the pace of the game up,” he said. “So in that sense, it’s going to be different but at the same time it’s definitely a playoff game, you’re playing for something and you got to find a way to build your own energy as a team.
“Being a young team, I think we have a better chance of doing that, playing freely, don’t really have many expectations. I think that’s something that can work for us.”
Defenseman Tony DeAngelo said there wasn’t one particular area that defenders were focusing on during training camp, but that they’re just looking to get back into game shape.
“We’re kind of just getting our touches down and stuff, trying to get back in the rhythm of feeling pucks in different spots,” DeAngelo said. “It’s kind of feeling those rushes again, feeling other people, you know, attacking in front of the net, box outs, all that kind of stuff.
“We’re just trying to get all that rhythm back and get ready to go because speed is going to be as high as you can get once we start.”
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