Brendan Smith has been scratched in the last four games after his struggles against Vegas last week.
Alain Vigneault said on Wednesday that Smith will get back into the lineup "at some point" and that he is working "extremely hard" in the areas where he needs to improve.
Vigneault said that Smith needs to be better in his puck battles as well as be quicker in going back to get pucks and then making the right decision with it.
He added, "if he does that then some of those situations where he has been in a challenging place, if he goes back a little quicker and makes that first initial play he will be fine."
Smith's agent said that his client is "no dummy" and understands that he hasn't played up the level he needs to be at. (NY Post)
He added that Smith is working hard to get back into the lineup and that there are no issues with the coaching staff or the team. (NY Post)
Adam Rotter: Flat out, Smith just hasn't been good enough and there have been instances where he has really hurt the Rangers on the ice. Smith will get back and in will be part of the defense corp but he really needs to step up his game. He seemed to play such a simple, physical game when he came to the Rangers last year and in the playoffs and that is what he needs to get back to.