The New York Rangers are going through a tough stretch of injuries with six key players slowly working their way back into the lineup due to injury.
Top Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi returned to the ice today for practice, stating that he was sore but shockingly all tests came back clean despite stopping a P.K. Subban slapshot on Feb. 23. Girardi had to be helped off the ice and did not return to the game in the third period.
“I’ve never really felt pain like that but it turns out everything’s good, just a little sore, that’s it,” Girardi said. “I got them (the X-rays) this morning. It helped mentally to know there’s nothing going on there. I felt good (on the ice), a little sore but I feel pretty good out there.”
Girardi may return as early as tomorrow against the Winnipeg Jets.
Ryan McDonagh unfortunately did not fare as well after taking a brutal hit into the boards by Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 23. Pacioretty was subsequently found not worthy of any fine or suspension by NHL discipline czar (and former Ranger) Brendan Shanahan, much to the dismay of Rangers fans worldwide. Pacioretty clearly leaped off the ice several inches to finish his check of McDonagh into the boards, which would seemingly be a text-book case of an illegal boarding, but yet Shanahan ruled otherwise.
Nevertheless, McDonagh did not return to skate with the team in today’s practice, and while his official injury is undisclosed, it is most likely concussion related.
No news is not good news in this case for Rick Nash. Nash’s exact injury still remains undisclosed, but again the prevailing theory is that it is concussion related after a hard hit into the boards (sound familiar?) by Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins on Feb. 12.
Michael Del Zotto
Defenseman Michael Del Zotto returned to practice with the team today, and while his exact injury also was undisclosed, it is believed to be lower body related. Del Zotto most likely will return to the lineup tomorrow against the Winnipeg Jets.
After a brutal center-ice collision between Darroll Powe and Matt Hendricks of the Washington Capitals on Feb. 17, Powe was placed on injured reserve with concussion symptoms. Powe returned to practice today and could make an appearance tomorrow against the Winnipeg Jets.
Asham has been out of the lineup due to back spasms and did not participate in practice today with the Rangers. It’s unclear when Asham will return at this point.
Per Andrew Gross of The Bergen Record, lines at practice today were:
Carl Hagelin-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan
Taylor Pyatt-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik
Darroll Powe-Brian Boyle-J.T. Miller
Brandon Mashinter-Jeff Halpern-Stu Bickel
Extras: Christian Thomas-Chris Kreider
Six defensemen on the ice: Girardi, Staal, Del Zotto, Anton Stralman, Steve Eminger, Matt Gilroy
Gross also reports that the Rangers have also re-assigned rookie Christian Thomas back to the Connecticut Whale.