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Category: Injuries

Injury/Lineup updates: McDonagh 100%; Vets getting rest

Per Andrew Gross, injured defenseman Ryan McDonagh has confirmed that he is 100%, and will return for the playoffs. McDonagh has been out since April 1, after taking a “questionable” hit from Vancouver’s Alex Burrows late in the third period. Although he is 100%, he will not be playing tonight in Montreal.

In addition to McDonagh, Dan Girardi, Martin St. Louis, and Henrik Lundqvist will also be out of the lineup tonight to get some much deserved and/or needed rest. For Girardi, this will be just the fifth (!!!) game he has missed in his entire NHL career (two last season, two in 2010-2011).

People may not agree with Alain Vigneault here, but the game tonight is meaningless. There’s no point in ruining Hank’s confidence (he has a better shot at being president of the US than winning in Montreal it seems); it’s a good idea to give Girardi some time to order some new robot parts for his body; and it’s probably a good idea to get MSL out of his own head.

Injury notes: Kreider, McDonagh skating

Per Andrew Gross, both Ryan McDonagh and Chris Kreider were skating today at the Rangers optional skate. Neither did intensive work, with McDonagh doing some light skating and Kreider gripping his stick with one hand, but it’s a good sign to see them skating. Alain Vigneault did not give a timetable for either’s return, but did mention he is unsure if he wants McDonagh to return before the playoffs. Naturally, Kreider needs to grip a stick with two hands before he returns.

There’s no need to rush either guy. There’s a week before the playoffs start, let them get that extra week.

Chris Kreider’s injury causing depth issues

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

When Chris Kreider went down with his hand injury last month, the Rangers needed to scramble to find options to fill his spot in the top-nine (AV uses his top-nine for scoring, and his fourth line for defense). After all, the Rangers were losing one of their fastest skaters, one of their more potent offensive weapons, and a guy who was likely to put up his first 20-goal, 40-point season while playing alongside Derek Stepan and Rick Nash. These aren’t easy shoes to fill.

J.T. Miller was immediately recalled and slotted into the lineup, but his play without the puck left a lot to be desired. After a game and a half, he was scratched for two games then sent back to Hartford with a message. Miller likely won’t be back until the Wolf Pack season ends (as a healthy scratch/injury replacement). Dan Carcillo has been filling in for Kreider admirably, but he’s no top-nine forward.

Naturally, this is a problem for the Rangers as they head into a first round date with the Flyers.

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McDonagh out and day to day, Moore in tonight

Per Andrew Gross, defenseman Ryan McDonagh is out tonight and is day-to-day after being on the receiving end of a questionable hit –that received no supplemental discipline– from Alex Burrows. John Moore, who has been out since March 21, will take McDonagh’s spot in the lineup.

GIF: Burrows high hit on McDonagh

Update: Per Larry Brooks, there is no structural damage on McDonagh’s shoulder.

Original Post: In the final minute of yesterday’s win over Vancouver, Alex Burrows –not known for being the cleanest of players– delivered a questionable high hit on Ryan McDonagh. The hit left McDonagh on the ice in pain, and burrows received a five minute major for elbowing. There is no update on McDonagh’s injury as of yet. The GIF of the hit is below, courtesy of Edge of Sports Insanity:

The hit itself was not from behind, but it was a high hit (two hands to the face) on a player in a defenseless position. It looked like McDonagh went down favoring his left shoulder. I’d try to venture a guess about a possible Burrows suspension, but the Wheel O’ Justice has been random for a while. It’s a coin flip if there’s any supplemental discipline at this point.

What do you think of the hit? Should Burrows be suspended?

Kreider has surgery; Falk not with team on trip; Straka retires

Per Sean Hartnett, injured winger Chris Kreider had surgery on his hand and will be out indefinitely. Kreider was not on the road trip with the team, and will be out for at least the remainder of the regular season. Kreider’s 37 points (6th on the team) and 17 goals (3rd) leave a big hole in the lineup that will need to be filled by the snake-bitten Martin St. Louis, among others. With Kreider’s injury, it is unlikely that J.T. Miller will be returned to Hartford at all this season.

Per Pat Leonard, defenseman Justin Falk is not on this trip, as his wife is having a baby. Falk hasn’t played since December 29th, and has played just 20 games this season.

One last note: Martin Straka officially retired yesterday. In three seasons with the Rangers, Straka put up a line of 65-122-187 in 224 games.

Kreider out a month with hand injury

Sorry this is late folks. Per Bob McKenzie, Chris Kreider has a hand injury and will be out around a month. Kreider missed all of the third period and overtime against Phoenix on Monday night with the injury.

The timing of the injury couldn’t come at worse time, as the Rangers are gearing up for a playoff run. This won’t affect their ability to make the playoffs, but it will affect their ability to score once the playoffs start.

Raphael Diaz in for the injured John Moore tonight

Raphael Diaz, acquired from the Vancouver Canucks at the trade deadline, will make his Rangers debut tonight in New Jersey. Diaz will take John Moore’s spot in the lineup, as Moore did not return after taking a big hit in the first period of last night’s victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

It is expected that Diaz will be on a pairing with Kevin Klein.

Mats Zuccarello will play tonight

Per Andrew Gross, the Rangers are getting back their leading scorer (well, not including Martin St. Louis) tonight, as Mats Zuccarello will be rejoining the lineup after suffering a broken hand in the Olympics. Zuccarello missed Norway’s final game in Sochi and the first five games since the break. Zucc will likely rejoin linemates Benoit Pouliot and Derick Brassard on the third line.

Derek Dorsett, who was the only forward at the optional skate this morning, will likely sit.

Michael St. Croix recalled to Wolf Pack

The Hartford Wolf Pack have recalled forward Michael St. Croix from the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors. This is St. Croix’s third stint with the AHL, where he is scoreless in nine games (2 PIMs, -3 rating). In 37 games in Greenville, St. Croix has a line of 13-27-40, with 12 PIMs and a +1 rating. St. Croix might be replacing the injured Danny Kristo in the lineup.

The Pack also recalled goaltender Scott Stajcer, but that is more a formality. He suffered another hip injury, and will miss the rest of the season. This is the same hip injury that has plagued him for the entire career. Stajcer is an RFA at the end of this year, and likely won’t be re-signed.