As he prepares to start his season for the fourth time, Vitaly Kravtsov doesn’t even want to think about the myriad injuries that have limited him to about 28:52 on ice in just four games.
Why would he do this? In the Rangers’ first 13 games of the season, Kravtsov has endured one of his worst spells. On the other hand, however, there is no player on the Rangers roster who needs a little luck more than Kravtsov. There’s a palpable desire to prove himself, especially given his rocky relationship with the team over the past few seasons, but Kravtsov has failed to stay on the ice long enough to do so.
Kravtsov slid down the right wing of the third line alongside Chris Creed and Philip Chittier during training on Monday, suggesting the 22-year-old winger should be ready for Tuesday’s game against the Islanders. Missed the last four games because of an undisclosed upper body injury.
“Play well, help the team, help yourself,” he said when asked about his goal of getting back on the court. “Play hard, play fast. Just need to find that confidence, I think [during] I found a little way to do it. Feeling better now than it did a week or a month ago. ”
The last part of his first sentence should be Kravtsov’s point. At this point, all Kravtsov can do is try to put himself in the best position to succeed at the NHL level. But that includes playing smart — not making himself vulnerable — and making sure he’s noticeable in a lineup that desperately needs an offensive spark.
“I want hockey so bad,” he said. “I need to be more confident in the fight with the puck, pre-check/post-check without the puck. I’m going to build confidence and it’s going to be a lot better.”
Additionally, defenseman Ryan Lindgren, who missed Sunday’s game against the Red Wings, was hit with an upper-body injury by Bruins wing David Pasternak earlier this month, and he had a tough time on Tuesday night. match doubts. He resumed skating, but will likely miss his second straight game.
Julien Gauthier missed practice with an upper-body injury against Detroit on Sunday. The Rangers marked the 25-year-old winger as everyday.
Defenseman Adam Fox was absent from practice for maintenance purposes, the Rangers said.