|After six games, forward Evgeny Grachev was sent back down by the Rangers.|
Today, the Rangers sent forward Evgeny Grachev back to Hartford. The '08 third round pick, who was recalled a couple of weeks ago got into six games.
The 20 year-old Russian had no points with three shots and seven hits while posting a minus-two rating. He saw limited duty and didn't even get a shift on a dreadful Rangers' five minute power play in yesterday's 2-0 shutout loss to St. Louis. In fact, Grachev got only eight shifts for 4:10, going minus-one thanks to Derek Boogaard's boneheaded play that led to Alex Steen's winner.
While it's true the kid isn't ready, he showed good instincts forcing a couple of turnovers that led to scoring opportunities including a near break-in last night. The size (6-3, 202 pounds) is there. However, he's still getting acclimated with the pro game in Year Two. The Rangers must be careful not to hurt his development. Something The Prospect Park's Jess Rubenstein believes they already did by rushing him to the AHL following one year of junior. What Grachev learned in his brief stint on Broadway could be vital to his future. We'll have a more definitive answer next year.
In the mean time, he goes back down while Boogaard likely goes unpunished for a brutal game Sunday. In his latest post, Scotty Hockey was all over the Rangers for not going after B.J. Crombeen for his ferocious hit from behind on rookie Derek Stepan that led to a major the club never came close to capitalizing on. Something we neglected to mention. You might say John Tortorella preferred to get the game tied rather than seek retribution. However, they don't see the Blues again. So, Crombeen went unscathed. What if D-Step had been seriously hurt? Scotty is justified in his notion that the team rarely stands up for teammates. Even if this bunch is more together, you'd like to see that important element added.
With Grach back to the 'A,' does this mean more games for vet Todd White, who was good against the Devils, assisting on Brandon Dubinsky's shorty? Likely until Marian Gaborik, Chris Drury and Vinny Prospal return. One other note on White.