Kravtsov has another concerning performance in Hartford

Kravtsov (NHL)

Vitali Kravtsov found himself benched during the third period of the Wolf Pack’s 3-1 win last night. On the flip side, Filip Chytil had another strong performance with a goal and an assist. At this point, there’s no need to panic but some concern is warranted.

Adjustment, Disappointment, Frustration

Last night, Kravtsov who was scratched for the Pack’s last game started off well. However, as the game went on he seemed to get more and more lost out there. This eventually led to his benching and it would not be surprising if he was scratched again for the contest against Rochester today.

Obviously some of these issues have to do with adjusting to the North American rink size and physical style. But if we are honest, his performance at Traverse City and Pre-season are lightyear’s better than what he’s shown in Hartford so far. So what else is it? Disappointment and frustration are the most likely biggest issues.

KHL to Obscurity

Before Vitali came here he was a budding star in the KHL for Traktor in Russia. He was also making a lot more money. You see, even though he signed the max level entry contract at $925,000 when you get sent down it drops to just $70,000 a year. He also signed a new KHL deal (details unknown) prior to coming over that likely makes this demotion financially frustrating.

Kravtsov came to New York with the full expectation of making the Rangers out of camp. And why wouldn’t he? The Rangers are rebuilding and he did put forth a solid enough camp to make the team. Instead, he was sent down in favor of keeping players like Greg McKegg and Michael Haley here. The reason for the demotion was legit, because it was likely they couldn’t get Kravtsov the top 9 minutes for his development. However, with the trade of Namestnikov they could easily find it.

The problem now becomes, how do you call up a player that’s struggling and getting scratched in the AHL? You really can’t and that’s why there needs to be an intervention. Chris Drury needs to have a heart to heart and get Kravtsov motivated to show what he can do to earn the call up.

We should soon see Filip Chytil back up with the big club with his play in Hartford. That should motivate Kravtsov to do the same and make his way back to the bright lights of Broadway.

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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