The Rangers may have lost to the Islanders in OT last night, but there was a potentially serious paradigm shift to the top six. Vitali Kravtsov has been growing in confidence every shift since he made his debut against the Buffalo Sabres on April 3rd.
Vitali Kravtsov forces Chris Kreider off the top line
Chris Kreider has been struggling 5 on 5 now for awhile as he hasn’t scored a point at even strength in his last eight games. He has one goal and two assists all on the power play since. Yesterday was the last straw for David Quinn after Kreider flipped the puck over the glass to give the Islanders an early PP that they scored on.
After the first period, David Quinn elevated Vitali Kravtsov up to the top line and played him a career high 13:35. He rewarded his coach with an assist on the game tying goal by Brendan Smith that earned the Rangers a point after erasing a two goal deficit.
“I really like the way Kravy’s been playing and I wanted to give [the KZB] line a different look,” Quinn explained about the move. “I love how he competes, I love his skillset, I love his hockey IQ. From the get go he’s played with confidence and I just thought he deserved that opportunity.”
The Rangers are overloaded at the wings and this presents a good problem. Let’s see if Kravtsov continues to push other veterans as we go.
Tony DeAngelo unlikely to be traded
Montreal insider Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports is indicating that he doesn’t expect Tony DeAngelo to be traded today. Earlier today I noted there was a slim chance that maybe a team looking to use him for the expansion draft may try to swing a deal. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen but DeAngelo’s stock plummeted after being waived earlier this year.
New York will expose him to Seattle and then buy him out for a nominal amount. DeAngelo makes $4.5 million this season and next but would be a 1/3 buyout because he’s 25 years-old. That would only be a cap charge of $383,333 in 2021-22 and $833,333 in 2022-23.
Latest Trade Deadline Buzz
Looks like some names are coming off the board but not due to trades. Read more here.