Rangers vs. Avalanche Game Thread

The New York Rangers will face off against the Colorado Avalanche tonight in the first of a back-to-back. The Rangers are 1-4-0 with just two points on the season that came when they defeated the San Jose Sharks last Thursday. Since then, they lost to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. The Avalanche are 3-1-1 with seven points; they lost their last game in overtime to the Calgary Flames.

Here at Buchnevich Banter, we’ll actually be boycotting the Rangers tonight since our adult Russian son Pavel Buchnevich is a healthy scratch, and we as a result, can no longer watch David Quinn coach a game. Sorry folks, that’s just the way it works here.

But actually, Buchnevich will be a healthy scratch tonight, which means Cody McLeod re-enters the lineup. The Rangers’ offense has been a problem throughout their season start and McLeod entering the lineup is more of a problem than anything. The onus is on all of their forwards to be better to spark the offense, and it starts at the top. With Buchnevich though, his effort was cited in the decision to make him a healthy scratch (for more on that, listen to this week’s podcast).

There are clear issues on defense and one of the veteran defensemen is being held accountable for it — Adam McQuaid. Small sample alert, but at 5-on-5 according to NaturalStatTrick, the Rangers have conceded about 60 percent of the shot attempts with McQuaid on the ice. Neal Pionk, who has been a healthy scratch these last few games, re-enters the lineup. Tony DeAngelo remains scratched.

As for who is in the lineup, Filip Chytil will likely switch to wing and move up to the second line. Quinn mentioned this as a possibility after last game, when he acknowledged that the rookie needs more minutes.

So there are changes up front, changes on the blue line, and Henrik Lundqvist likely in net. On the other side of the ice, Semyon Varlamov has been confirmed as the Avalanche’s starter.

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