Per the Rangers Twitter, winger Lee Stempniak is being isolated from the team and being tested for the mumps. Stempniak would be the third Rangers player to contract the mumps, following Tanner Glass and Derick Brassard. Glass has been healthy for a few weeks, and Brassard was cleared to practice with the team tomorrow.
Also, Joey Crabb in Hartford is being isolated from the Wolf Pack and being tested for the mumps. Ken Gernander, head coach of the Pack, is being isolated as well.
So I missed this today, but Derick Brassard has been sent home from the road trip and will not partake in team activities after being diagnosed with the mumps. Tanner Glass replaced him in the lineup tonight.
Chris Kreider, who missed Monday’s win over Pittsburgh with neck spasms, was back at practice today, per the team Twitter. Kreider developed the spasms after colliding with Carl Hagelin at practice on Sunday. The team worked on the powerplay, with some new units:
PP1: Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, Derick Brassard, Derek Stepan, Dan Boyle
PP2: J.T. Miller, Lee Stempniak, Mats Zuccarello, Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi
This suggests that both Miller and Stempniak will be in the lineup over the weekend. That means Jesper Fast will likely be the healthy scratch.
Per Sean Hartnett, winger Chris Kreider is doubtful for tonight with neck spasms after colliding with Carl Hagelin at practice yesterday. With Kreider likely out, J.T. Miller will stay in the lineup for at least one more game.
Meanwhile, AV also confirmed that Tanner Glass and John Moore will return to the lineup tonight. Glass is replacing the injured Kreider, and Moore is replacing Matt Hunwick. If Kreider can go, it’s safe to assume Miller will be the odd man out.
Per Rick Carpiniello, winger Tanner Glass has the mumps, and has been isolated from any team contact. Glass is not the first NHL player to be diagnosed with the mumps this season, as Anaheim’s Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin also contracted the disease. Glass will be out indefinitely. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Very promising news out of Tampa Bay. Captain Ryan McDonagh, out with a separated shoulder, is on the ice and practicing with the club, and he is without the yellow non-contact jersey. McDonagh has been out since November 2, and while a return tomorrow is probably unlikely, the fact that he is skating with the club means he is coming back soon.
The Rangers have not dressed a fully healthy team all season.
Just a quick note: 2012 1st round pick Brady Skjei, currently on the top defense pairing at Minnesota, is week-to-week following a lower body injury. Skjei had put up 1-2-3 in 6 games with the top-ranked Golden Gophers prior to the injury.
Skeji is likely to turn pro following this season with Minnesota.
Per Darren Dreger, Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle, out since the opener with a broken hand, could return as soon as tomorrow. The Rangers could really use Boyle, who was signed to add some much-needed blue line scoring at even strength and on the powerplay. Mike Kostka has been the fill-in for Boyle, to mediocre results (0-1-1 in 7 GP with some horrible turnovers).
If/When Boyle comes back, Kostka is expected to sit, and that leaves just Ryan McDoangh as the only injured Rangers defenseman.
Per Andrew Gross, Dan Boyle, out since the season opener with a fractured right hand, was in a regular practice jersey this morning. He was skating with Tomas Kaberle, who is joining Ranger practices without a contract. Boyle may not play tomorrow, but it looks like he will be set to return next week. Considering the state of the blue line, his return can’t come soon enough.
The lines and defensive pairs were switched up a bit as well:
Rick Nash-Derick Brassard-Martin St. Louis
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello
Carl Hagelin-Dominic Moore-Lee Stempniak
Tanner Glass-Kevin Hayes-Anthony Duclair
Marc Staal-Kevin Klein
Conor Allen-Dan Girardi
Matt Hunwick-Mike Kostka
Boyle’s return would spell the end of Kostka in the lineup. It’s good to see Stepan back in the lineup too, but I don’t know if putting Glass with two rookies is the wisest move for the fourth line.
Per the Rangers Twitter, center Derek Stepan has been cleared for contact, and is wearing a normal colored jersey in practice today. Stepan has been out since the preseason with a broken fibula, and was eligible to return off LTIR today. While it is unlikely he is cleared to play tonight, he will likely be back in the lineup by this weekend.