Archive for Injuries
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.
Kevin Klein is officially out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. Klein suffered the injury late in the third period of last night’s game on a hit from Reid Boucher. The hit wasn’t dirty, but Klein landed awkwardly on his hand.
It is expected that Dylan McIlrath will play in his place, and no call ups will be made.
Per the Rangers’ Twitter account, defenseman Dan Girardi will be a game time decision. Girardi suffered a lacerated hand in Monday’s win over the Bruins, missing the second half of the game. If Girardi can’t go, Dylan McIlrath will play for the first time since December 22 (six games).
Per the Rangers Twitter account, winger Chris Kreider will not play tomorrow against Washington. Kreider has a laceration on his hand, suffered in the Florida game. Kreider did not play in the Rangers win over Dallas Tuesday night either.
Jayson Megna will stay in the lineup in Kreider’s spot.