One week out from their exhibition game with the Islanders, the New York Rangers continue to work toward getting in game-ready shape for their playoff tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes. Recently, Ryan Lindgren told the media that “Coach Quinn talked about it today before the practice that we need to amp it up. This week’s going to be huge for us.” With that in mind here are some other bits of news that have surfaced recently concerning the Blueshirts.
Panarin named a finalist for Hart Trophy.
Artemi Panarin, along with Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl and Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon have been named finalists for the Hart Trophy.
Artemi Panarin, Hart Trophy Finalist.
It just sounds right.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) July 22, 2020
The annual award is given “to the player judged most valuable to his team” and is voted on by Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Concerning the nomination, head coach David Quinn said that “He has injected us with an awful lot of passion and enthusiasm. There’s no more of a deserving player than him to be in that conversation.”
If he wins, Panarin will be the fifth Rangers player to win the Hart after Buddy O’Connor, Chuck Rayner, Andy Bathgate, and Mark Messier.
Panarin finished fourth in scoring with a career-high 95 points and finished 20 points ahead of his next-closest teammate. The Blueshirts posted a 24-16-4 record in the 54 games Panarin registered a point and a 3-12-1 record in the other 16 games that he did not. He led the NHL in even-strength points (71) and was second in the league in assists (63) and plus/minus (plus-36).
Lemieux suspended for two games
The NHL has handed Brendan Lemieux a two-game suspension in the aftermath of the winger’s elbow to the head of Colorado Joonas Donskoi at the 17:08 of the third period the Rangers’ 3-2 overtime defeat in Colorado in the club’s final game on March 11.
While many were not surprised, the pause in the action in March had many forgetting about this incident.
Lemieux was also fined $2,000 earlier in this season for an elbow to the head of Cody Glass in Las Vegas.
Buchnevich returns to practice
Ranger fans took a sigh of relief when winger Pavel Buchnevich returned to action after sitting out Sunday’s scrimmage.
The NHL teams are not very forthcoming on injury information and speculation led to the possibility of something that may have been related to COVID-19.
However, that was not the case as the Rangers have stated that having missed one day on the ice was due to an apparently minor physical issue.