At Rangers practice today, Alain Vigneault had Tanner Glass in his regular spot on the fourth line while Pavel Buchnevich was skating on a "fifth" line with recent scratches Brandon Pirri and Matt Puempel.
Vigneault said that he would watch the Panthers tonight before deciding for sure on his lineup for tomorrow's game.
Asked about Glass, Vigneault said that he brings "more physicality" and allows the Rangers to use different options or combinations in the lineup.
Asked about Buchnevich, Vigneault said that he has been inconsistent lately and said "there are some plays that I need him to make in our end, that would make his line and linemates spend less time in our zone."
Vigneault again mentioned consistency with Buchnevich before saying that he is a young player who is going to "figure it out."
Buchnevich has 2 goals and 1 assist in his last 7 games with 13 shots on goal and an average of 14:19.
Glass has 1 goal and 1 assist in the 5 games since being called up, with 5 shots on goal and an average o 10:15 per game.
Larry Brooks tweeted, "I cannot come up with a rational explanation for sitting Buchnevich."
Adam Rotter: This is very likely how it's going to be through the rest of the season and the playoffs, pending that the Rangers top 11 forwards remain healthy. It's frustrating to many and very understandable as Glass and Buchnevich are pretty much opposite players at opposite points in their careers.
It's clearly a decision based upon style of play because if the Rangers wanted to sit Buchnevich but still have his role filled with offensive potential, either Pirri or Puempel would be in. I'm no fan of this decision, but it could only be for one game. It's entirely possible that the Rangers go with Glass on Friday, Buchnevich on Saturday and then Buchnevich through the rest of the season. While it seems like it, this isn't a permanent benching of Buchnevich, it's not a sure sign he's going back to Russia or that he is a bust. Buchnevich has had a strange year with all of the time he missed, the adjustment to a new country and game and being a rookie. He's had some awesome moments, but also a lot of moments where he looks like a rookie adjusting to a new life. I'd still rather see him in the lineup than Glass, but I can see why Alain Vigneault wants to try this out. I may not agree with it, but I understand he is trying to experiment and find the right balance roster-wise with the playoffs coming up.