Archive for Injuries
In case you missed it, Mats Zuccarello is out indefinitely with an upper body injury. Rumors are that this is a mild concussion, but a concussion is a concussion as Zuccarello took a hard slap shot to the head off the stick of Ryan McDonagh. Assuming this is long term, because with concussions that’s the only assumption you can make, then the Rangers are out a top line forward, and there is no one in or out of the lineup that can replace his production.
Instead, the Rangers are going to need produce enough from other parts to make the Zuccarello absence more manageable. You can’t replace a top line forward, but you can –quoting Moneyball– replace him in the aggregate. Zucc hasn’t put up many points in the playoffs, but his value is with his speed and puck possession skill. The Rangers have someone like that readily available in Carl Hagelin.
At the optional skate today, injured defenseman Kevin Klein was on the ice. Klein has been out since March with a broken wrist and missed the entire first round series against the Penguins. Klein has been “nearing a return” for quite some time now.
Mats Zuccarello, who took a Ryan McDonagh shot to the noggin during Game Five, was not on the ice for the optional skate. Zuccarello didn’t return to Game Five, which is a rarity for injuries in the playoffs.
Update: Zuccarello is out indefinitely.
On the broadcast, MSG noted that Mats Zuccarello will not return to the game after taking a Ryan McDonagh slapshot to the face. You can view the GIF here. Jesper Fast took Zuccarello’s spot on his line, and the Rangers have been playing with 11 forwards.
It’s worth noting that this is the playoffs, and usually players come right back to the bench after something like this. Since Zuccarello isn’t returning, it may be serious.
I was listening to the radio yesterday, and I couldn’t believe my ears. Hockey was being discussed, and it wasn’t Boomer and Carton or Michael Kay and Don La Greca. Once I got over my initial shock of hearing hockey on the radio discussed by a voice in which I could not identify, I started listening to the topic at hand.
The topic intrigued me: When Kevin Klein comes back, who should sit?
It got me thinking. Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, and Keith Yandle are not coming out of the lineup. All have been pretty solid in this series as well. So it’s really between Matt Hunwick and Dan Boyle.
Dan Girardi will play in Game Two tonight, despite taking a puck to the jaw in Game One and not returning. Girardi left in the third period after the injury as the Rangers held on to a 2-1 lead to take the first game of the series. Kevin Klein, out since March with a broken arm, will not make return tonight. Klein is close, and still considered day-to-day, but Matt Hunwick is doing just fine as his replacement for now.
Per Josh Thomson, injured defenseman Kevin Klein did not practice today and will not practice tomorrow. That puts Klein’s return for Game One in doubt, as Alain Vigneault has mentioned that Klein needs to practice before he can play. It is unlikely Klein, who has been out since March with a broken arm, plays in Game One.
Matt Hunwick will stay in the lineup for now, and has done a serviceable job in replacing Klein in the lineup.
Kevin Klein is skating with the healthy scratches (Henrik Lundqvist, James Sheppard) today (per Andrew Gross), and it is possible a weekend return may be in the works. Klein is scheduled to be getting an x-ray this week. If all comes back positive, he should be back before the playoffs start. He is just softly passing the puck, so this weekend may be an aggressive timeline.
The defense hasn’t really missed a beat with Klein out, as Matt Hunwick has been pretty solid in replacing Klein. That said, welcoming Klein back would be nice, especially if it takes some of the tougher minutes off Dan Girardi.
Per Steve Zipay, inured defenseman Kevin Klein is slated to get x-rays on his fractured left arm this week, which will determine if/when he returns from the injury. He is currently skating but not stickhandling. The original timeline had him slated to return for the playoffs, but Sam Rosen mentioned on the most recent broadcast that the Rangers are hoping to get him one game before the playoffs.
For today’s game, the lineup remains unchanged, per Brett Cyrgalis.
In some very good news, goalie Henrik Lundqvist has been cleared to practice by team doctors. Lundqvist, who has been out for the past six weeks with a vascular injury suffered after taking a puck to the throat, will likely need some practice time before getting back into a game. The Rangers will also be in no rush to get their All-World goaltender back in net, as backup Cam Talbot has been outstanding in relief.
With the way the schedule is laid out, I wouldn’t expect Lundqvist to be back in a game until the weekend. The Rangers have back-to-backs against Carolina and Anaheim, so The King may return for one of those games. I’d still assume Talbot will get a good amount of starts down the stretch. He’s been solid and the Rangers don’t want or need to rush Hank back.
With Martin St. Louis out 10-14 days with a knee injury, the New York Rangers find themselves needing to weather the storm while he heals. We can debate the argument over whether St. Louis needed the rest or not, but the point remains that the Rangers will need to find a way to deal with a top-six forward out of the lineup for 4-6 games.
The Rangers are not expected to make a call up, at least right away, while St. Louis is out. This makes relative sense, as the Rangers have a limited number of call ups until rosters expand for the playoffs. That said, this also means the return of Tanner Glass to the lineup. That’s not exactly ideal.