New York Rangers practice buzz: Vitali Kravtsov anxious to return

Vitali Kravtsov and the New York Rangers were back to work at the MSG Training Center in preparation for Sunday’s matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

After a startling collapse in the third period on Thursday, where the Sharks outshot the Rangers 16-2 and they eventually fell 3-2 in OT, head coach Gerard Gallant wasn’t going to perseverate on it.

“I’m not concerned about it,” Gallant stated. “I was concerned the other night and not happy but we’re not going to play that bad in a period again. We’ll move on.”

The biggest news to come out of today’s practice was Kravtsov looking like he’ll return to the lineup after being injured against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the season opener nearly two weeks ago.

New York Rangers: Vitali Kravtsov anxious to return

new york rangers vitali kravtsov
Rangers prospect Vitali Kravtsov and other Rangers prospects practice at the Rangers training facility in Greenburgh Sept. 5, 2019. Credit: © Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News, Rockland/Westchester Journal News via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Kravtsov, 22, is itching to get back in the Rangers lineup after playing a grand total of 88 seconds this season out of five Rangers games.

“He’s probably real anxious and wants to play,” Gallant said. “Kravy wants to be a good player but sometimes you’ve got to wait your turn. When you get it take advantage. I feel real bad for him. He only played (1:28) in the first game and then he gets hurt. It’s not always easy but you have to be a pro and be ready whether it’s tomorrow or the near future.”

The 9th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft has 4 points in 21 NHL games to date. It’s certainly a stat he’d like to start adding upon as soon as possible.

“I’m excited. I want to play,” Kravtsov said per NY Post’s Mollie Walker. “First game, three shifts, minute and a half. Just want to play. I didn’t play for five months, maybe?”

Per multiple reports, It should be noted that Jimmy Vesey was rotating in on the third line. So it isn’t a given that Kravtsov will play.

“We’re not sure what we’re going to do yet,” Gallant admitted. “Obviously there’s two possibilities but we’re not 100% sure (about the lineup). We like [Kravtsov], he’s worked hard and it’s the same with Libor (Hajek) too. But when you’re off to a good start you don’t want to mess around with things.”

Here’s a look at the practice lines:

  • Kreider – Zibanejad – Kakko
  • Panarin – Trocheck – Lafrenière
  • Goodrow – Chytil – Kravtsov
  • Blais– Carpenter – Reaves
  • Lindgren – Fox
  • Miller – Trouba
  • Jones – Schneider
  • Shesterkin
  • Halak

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