Rangers Roundup: Alexandar Georgiev starts vs Wild, updates on Sammy Blais and Vitali Kravtsov

The New York Rangers are in Minnesota to take on the Wild in game two of their four-game road trip.

When the hits the ice at the Xcel Energy Center, it will not be Igor Shesterkin leading them. Instead, the Blueshirts are opting to start their back up against a desperate Wild team looking for a win.

New York Rangers name Alexandar Georgiev starter vs Wild

Head coach Gerard Gallant has named back up Alexandar Georgiev as the starter for the matchup. His last start was a 5-2 drubbing against the Vancouver Canucks on February 27 where he allowed 4 goals on 33 shots.

The Wild are coming off a 6-3 loss against the Dallas Stars on Sunday and have stumbled to a 2-8-0 record over their past 10 contests. However, Georgiev has struggled mightily in his last four starts going 0-4-0 with a 4.09 GAA and a .871 SV%.

It certainly appears to be a gamble on Gallant’s part, but he’s hoping to get Georgiev a start against a team on the down right now.

Sammy Blais injury update

new york rangers sammy blais
Oct 25, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88) battles New York Rangers left wing Sammy Blais (91) and New York Rangers defenseman Patrik Nemeth (12) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Injured forward Sammy Blais is with the team on this road trip as he’s rehabbing his knee. Newsday’s Colin Stephenson has tweeted out a couple of videos of Blais shooting pucks from the open-door of the bench.

Blais, 25, was injured in the third period of a Rangers 4-3 win over the Devils on November 14. He and PK Subban went to the corner to retrieve the puck when the Devils defenseman appeared to stick out his skate causing Blais to go hard into the boards leaving him writhing in pain tearing his ACL.

The Rangers announced back in November that Blais would miss the next 6-8 months due to the injury and subsequent surgery. He is currently on LTIR giving the Rangers an additional $1.5M in cap space.

Could Blais return this season? Oddly enough, Joe Micheletti has teased the possibility several times on the MSG Broadcasts. The earliest expected return would be May, which would be during the playoffs.

Vitali Kravtsov update

vitali kravtsov
Apr 6, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Vitali Kravtsov #74 of the New York Rangers skates in warm-ups prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on April 06, 2021 in New York City.Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL severed ties with the KHL on Monday per reports.

In a memo distributed to GMs on Monday, obtained by Daily Faceoff, the NHL instructed its teams to “immediately cease all dealings [direct or indirect] with the KHL and KHL Clubs [and all representatives of both], as well as with player agents who are based in and continue to do business in Russia.”

Daily Faceoff

This immediately brought up concerns over Vitali Kravtsov and if he could return to the U.S.. Per Frank Seravalli, Kravtsov has an NHL contract and can return at any time.

Kravtsov, 22, has 2 goals and three points in 4 playoff gams for Traktor. He is one of the Rangers top trade bait candidates.

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