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5 things to watch for as Rangers enter 2019-20 NHL season

Pavel Buchnevich #89 of the Rangers looks on

Pavel Buchnevich #89 of the Rangers looks on against the Islanders during the first period of a preseason game at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.  Photo Credit: Steven Ryan

PAVEL BUCHNEVICH

Pavel Buchnevich seemed to finally figure things out in the second half of last season, after being scratched three times by first-year coach David Quinn. Buchnevich ended up scoring a career-high 21 goals and he’s earned the right to be the third member of the first line, with Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad. Will Buchnevich play well enough and consistently enough to hold on to the role?

CHRIS KREIDER

The goal for this team is to make the playoffs, and they figure to be in the hunt for a spot all season. So, assuming Chris Kreider – who is in the final year of his contract – doesn’t sign an extension before the February trading deadline, and he’s playing well, will the Rangers trade him away?

HENRIK LUNDQVIST

How many games will he play, and will he be able to sustain a high level for the entire season, after having faded in the second half in each of the last two years? Quinn promised he won’t be tempted to ride Lundqvist if the 37-year-old goalie is playing well and winning games early. Can he keep that promise?

ADAM FOX

How will he handle the jump from college hockey to the NHL? It looks now as if Fox, 21, will be playing on a third defense pair with a fellow 21-year-old rookie, Libor Hajek (or Ryan Lindgren, possibly). Can two rookies play together and have success? And, with Jacob Trouba and Tony DeAngelo ahead of him in the power play pecking order, will Fox get many opportunities on the power play?

KAAPO KAKKO

Because so far, he looks like he’s going to be really, really exciting.

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