Vitali Yeremeyev’s recent play for the Rangers is living proof that success in the AHL does not always translate into success in the NHL. Yeremeyev, who shot up the depth chart this season after playing great down in Hartford, has been roughed up pretty bad so far in his stint in the NHL.
Yeremeyev is 0-4-0 in 4 games in the NHL this season, allowing 16 goals on 120 shots. He has a 4.53 GAA and an .846 Save percentage during those games. Although he has looked very good in practice, he hasn’t played the same during the games. He’ll be excellent for 10 minutes, than he’ll give up 3 goals in 2 minutes, which was basically what we saw Monday night in a 5-2 loss against the New York Islanders. Yeremeyev made some great saves in the first half of the 1st period, but then everything went downhill from there, as the Islanders goals just starting to keep piling up.
One thing I have noticed about Yeremeyev that needs improvement is the fact that he comes out too far on breakaways. He has let up 3 breakaway goals, and all because he was way too far out, allowing the player to just go around him and tuck the puck into the open side of the net. Martin Straka scored against him this way in Pittsburgh, and so did Jason Blake and Kenny Jonsson on Monday at the Garden. I’m surprised though that the Rangers have given up a couple of breakaways with the rookie in net, as you would think the Rangers would tighten up defensively do help their young goalie out. But, that hasn’t been the case and one can only wonder why.
I think it’s pretty safe to say that Yeremeyev will be returned to Hartford soon as the Rangers have claimed veteran goaltender Guy Hebert off waivers from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks today. Although Hebert has struggled this season, he will look to turn his season around as a Ranger. Hebert and Kirk McLean will likely be fighting for playing time in the remaining 16 games as it is highly likely the Rangers will miss the playoffs for a 4th straight year.
In a minor deal, the Rangers have dealt 26 year old defenseman Bert Robertsson to the Nashville Predators in return for 24 year old Ryan Tobler. This isn’t much to get excited about, as it is basically a minor league deal that will help out the Wolf Pack more than the Rangers. But the deal brings the Wolf Pack more grit and skill up front.