Archive for Injuries
The Daniel Paille experiment is over in New York. The Rangers waived the winger today, and will send him to Hartford once he clears. Paille was signed a month ago to help “address the penalty kill issues.” It was a signing that ignored the core issues with the unit and tried to throw a band-aid on them. The signing was met with general dislike, not because of the player, but because of those ignored process issues.
With Rick Nash still on the mend, the Rangers will need a call up from Hartford for Sunday night’s game.
In some good news, Ryan McDonagh passed concussion protocal, but will be out tomorrow. He does not have a concussion, but does have jaw/neck issues. Concussion free is the best possible news for the Rangers and McDonagh.
Sam Rosen announced on the broadcast that Ryan McDonagh will not return to the game tonight for precautionary reasons. McDonagh received a vicious headshot from Leo Komarov at the end of the first period. You can view three angles of the hit here.
Per Andrew Gross, concussed defenseman Ryan McDonagh will return to the lineup tonight. It is unclear who will sit,
but the smart money is on Dylan McIlrath taking a seat again. Marc Staal is with his wife who is due, so he may be scratched.
For what it’s worth, Dan Boyle was at the morning skate today after sitting yesterday out with the flu.
I have a fear.
I fear that Rick Nash will be out long-term.
This fear isn’t without merit, as there is no timetable for his return and he was recently downgraded to week-to-week. The Rangers have done well without him in the short-term, as J.T. Miller has really picked up the slack. Miller, along with Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard, have helped tremendously, picking up Nash’s goal scoring.
However Miller won’t continue shooting 30%. When that regression comes, the goals may dry up. The Rangers already had a need for a top-six forward with Nash in the lineup. If he’s out long-term, then there is a need for a second top-six winger. That is my fear. That second top-six winger.
When the Rangers lost their two best skaters in Rick Nash and Ryan McDonagh, a fall off a cliff was expected. However these Rangers have persevered, going 5-1-1 since the All Star break. J.T. Miller has stepped up his game, and he along with Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello, Derek Stepan, and Jesper Fast have made the injury to Nash easier to swallow.
On the blue line, perhaps the most important area for the Rangers to improve, ice time went to Keith Yandle. This is perhaps the most critical piece of the puzzle, as Yandle has truly excelled in his extended ice time. The blue line could have crumbled, but Yandle has helped to stabilize the overall play of the defense. It’s not his excellent work in the defensive zone, it’s that he is one of the best at controlling the play and the puck. The Rangers generate more offense with him on the ice. With more time in the offensive zone, they spend less time in the defensive zone.
Some news out of practice today from Rick Carpiniello, some of it good, some not good. Rick Nash, out for a few weeks with a bone bruise, has been downgraded from day-to-day to week-to-week. That’s obviously not good, as Nash is the Rangers’ best forward. They’ve been surviving on the recent hot streak for JT Miller, but Nash gives the Rangers a game changing presence in the lineup. Considering the downgrade, the most pessimistic are saying the Rangers will be without him for the rest of the season. Mark Teixeira had a similar issue this season, and it kept him out for months.
In better news, Ryan McDonagh skated in full gear, albeit in a non-contact jersey. He is symptom free, but will not play tomorrow.
Per Sean Hartnett, neither Rick Nash (leg) nor Ryan McDonagh (head) are on the ice for this morning’s skate. It is likely that both will be out tonight against the Devils. No call up has been made, so Dylan McIlrath will probably get in the lineup tonight. Right now, it is unclear which right-handed defenseman will play the left side, but my bet is Dan Boyle.
Update: It has been confirmed that McDonagh has a concussion, and there is no timetable for his return. The concussion came on this sucker punch from Wayne Simmonds.
Injuries are a common occurrence in hockey. Whether it’s bumps and bruises, broken bones, or torn ligaments, they happen all the time and teams around the league deal with injuries regularly. For the Rangers, they have two players on their blue line that have been dealing with injuries. Dan Girardi has a fractured knee cap, and Kevin Klein has a broken thumb.
Klein’s injury is the most recent, having occurred last week. He missed exactly one game before returning to the lineup in Philadelphia. Girardi’s been dealing with the knee cap injury for most of the season. Neither missed significant time, even though Dylan McIlrath, a former first round pick that the Rangers have spent five years developing, is sitting in the press box for his chance.
But are they really performing better injured than a healthy McIlrath? By the numbers, McIlrath is deserving of more time, and he’s outplaying most of his blue line brethren as well.
In case you missed it, Kevin Klein will return after missing exactly one game with a broken thumb. He will play and Dylan McIlrath will sit. It is certainly good news that Klein is back, but I was honestly hoping to get an extended look at McIlrath. Oh well.
The Rangers will be without defenseman Kevin Klein for the foreseeable future with a broken thumb, and the injury came at the worst possible time. Klein has been arguably the Rangers’ best defenseman, and absolutely the best right-handed defenseman. Dylan McIlrath will get extended playing time, likely with Keith Yandle.
On paper, the drop-off from Klein to McIlrath shouldn’t be all that terrible. McIlrath actually has better possession numbers, but it’s a small sample. But from what we’ve seen, he’s been able to make the smart first pass out of the zone and manages his gap control very well, which helps hide his weaker skating.