Girardi returns tonight, Clendening odd man out on D



Dan Girardi looks ready to return tonight against the Arizona Coyotes. The odd man out on defense is Adam Clendening, who had a real bad start against Washington but played well after.

Surprised, but not Shocked

I’ll admit that I was a bit surprised he opted to sit Clendening. While Clendening did have an awful turnover on the Caps first goal, it was he who started both plays that evened the game at 2 in the second period.

However, it isn’t shocking when you consider Alain Vigneault’s penchant to rely on veterans (especially on defense). If you need proof, look no further than Dylan McIlrath. In this case, I may have elected to bench Nick Holden who hasn’t really impressed on either side of the puck.

The Rangers are opting to take out a player who makes a great 1st pass in favor of Holden, who is similar to Girardi in style. That also means Kevin Klein will take Clendening’s spot on the 2nd PP unit.

Raanta in net?

It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but speculation is Antti Raanta will play the 2nd game of a back to back tonight. He should be just fine against the Coyotes, but will need his defense to not take a night off. Max Domi and Anthony Duclair could explode at any minute.

Buchnevich Still Out

So when will we see Pavel Buchnevich again? While the rookie is still nursing back spasms and didn’t make the trip, the good news seems to be soon.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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