Kevin Shattenkirk will be a healthy scratch for the Rangers on Thursday, according to head coach David Quinn. Shattenkirk has posted a -4 rating through the first three games of the season but does have a 54.3 CF%. The benching of Vladislav Namestnikov showed that no Ranger is immune from watching a game in the press box, Shattenkirk obviously included. Quinn said Shattenkirk would be back in the lineup for Saturday’s game against Edmonton regardless of what happens on Thursday.
The Rangers signed Shattenkirk to a four-year, $26.6 million contract on July 1, 2017. Injuries limited him to just 46 games last season, but he managed to score 5 goals and add 18 assists. The Rangers are in full-rebuild mode, so they might want to be a little more careful with who they decide to scratch. Scratching a guy like Shattenkirk can destroy his trade value, and his contract makes him a tough sell already.
Quinn also announced that defenseman Neal Pionk is healthy scratch for Thursday’s game as well. Pionk had 14 points in 28 games last season and was expected to play a larger role this year. The Rangers rolled seven defensemen in their last game, so Fredrik Claesson is the only defenseman drawing back in tonight. Vinni Lettieri will be the twelfth forward for the Rangers.
The Boston Bruins announced that forward Ryan Donato will also be a healthy scratch on Thursday. Donato has not been particularly impressive this season, registering just one goal and four shots through three games. Still, the move was a surprise considering his usage on the top powerplay unit and the second line. Joakim Nordstrom will draw into the lineup and occupy Donato’s spot on the second line. Anders Bjork is expected to claim the open spot on the Bruins’ top powerplay unit.
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