The Rangers have been through hell and back over the last month and a half. A team that has notorious with being able to stay healthy over the past couple of years has been decimated by injuries this season. The Rangers have been without a huge portion of their roster for most of the season.
Here’s a quick rundown of the notable injuries the team has been forced to overcome:
Marian Gaborik– Injured October 15th, missed 12 games. Now its no surprise that Gaborik got injured but the team relies on Marian so heavily as when he is healthy there is no sniper that is quite as lethal.
Ryan Callahan – Injured December 15th, missed 19 games. Callahan broke his hand blocking a shot in mid-December against the Penguins. Callahan was the leading scorer at the time and of course Cally is a heart and soul player that the Rangers desperately need. He was finally able to return to the lineup on Tuesday, expect him to be a key piece to the Rangers stretch run puzzle.
Brandon Dubinsky- Injured…to be honest no one has a clue when he was injured. He played through a fracture in his leg for as long as he could but he eventually needed to be taken out of the lineup, he missed five games before returning on Tuesday.
Erik Christensen- Christensen has been out since December 30th with a strained MCL and is time on the injured list is coming to an end as he could be back in the lineup within the next week or so.
Ruslan Fedotenko- He was originally out of the lineup with a separated shoulder but now an appendectomy has him sidelined for another 3-4 weeks.
Vinny Prospal- Prospal has been out all year with complications from his surgically repaired right knee but he is now coming back into the lineup tonight against the Devils which is huge, especially for Marian Gaborik.
Now Callahan and Dubinsky were able to return to the lineup on Tuesday against the Penguins and now they get Prospal back tonight. The team now sits in 7th place in the Eastern Conference with 62 points, only two points out of 5th place which with a win against the Devils tonight it would move them into a tie for 5th place in the East.
The Rangers are getting healthy at just the right time, we are now just 25 days from the NHL trade deadline. The Rangers also only have 29 games left in the regular season and they are going to need to get healthy and stay healthy to make a strong stretch run to the playoffs.
Now as for the NHL trade deadline, the Rangers are players every single year when the deadline rolls around and this year will be no different. The main piece that they will look to add will be the likes of Brad Richards from the Dallas Stars. This move seems to be unlikely because the Stars are 3rd in the West and I don’t see them moving one of their main offensive weapons at the trade deadline unless it’s for a huge return. The Rangers’ best bet is to wait until July when they can offer him a contract when he is unrestricted free agent, that is if he doesn’t re-sign with the Stars first.
Other names that the Rangers might pursue:
Erik Cole of the Carolina Hurricanes. Cole has 13 goals, and 17 assists in 51 games this season. Cole would be a nice addition for the Rangers to add as he has plenty of experience in the playoffs including a Stanley Cup ring in 2006.
Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames. What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the Calgary Flames? No, it’s not that they suck. The first name that comes to mind is Jarome Iginla. Iggy has been the face of that franchise for the past decade and I’m sure the Rangers would love to add the superstar to their lineup. Iginla has scored at least 28 goals in the last 11 seasons and at least 30 for the last 9 seasons. If the Rangers are going to acquire any big name at the deadline then I except Iginla to be that big name.
Tomas Kaberle of the Toronto Maple Leafs. This guy’s name has been involved in trade rumors for the past couple of seasons and now it seems as though it could finally happen and the Rangers could use a powerplay like himself. With Del Zotto having an off-year, the Rangers would really benefit from having a strong offensive defenseman at their disposal.
Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils. Now I don’t see a scenario where Parise gets traded to the Rangers but it is fun to entertain the idea. If the Rangers were to land Parise then it would give them a young superstar to pair with Gaborik and give the Rangers a lethal one-two punch.
As usual the trade deadline will be active and full of excitement. For all the coverage and breakdown of every deal and rumor make sure you check in right here at Atlantic Division Hockey.
The Rangers are coming off a poor performance last night as they fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. The Rangers found themselves in penalty trouble and just got beat down by the red-hot Flyers.
Now the Rangers come into Newark to face a familiar foe in the New Jersey Devils. The Devils have had an awful start to the season. After everything they went through to acquire superstar sniper, Ilya Kovalchuk, I’m sure they were expecting better results. They are the worst team in the NHL in scoring and they are third worst in goals against and also boast the fourth worst record in the NHL at 4-9-1. They are also 0-4-1 in their own building this year.
The Rangers are now 6-5-1 and are tied with Pittsburgh for second place in the Atlantic Division. The offense has been strong for the Rangers but the defense on the other hand has been a disaster, especially the penalty kill. They will be looking to get back on the winning track against the struggling Devils
Usually when you talk Rangers-Devils hockey two names are brought up instantly, Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur. These games are all about these two goaltenders, low scoring affairs with flashy goaltending is the standard for Rangers-Devils hockey. Henrik Lundqvist has been a Devil killer since he came into the league in 05-06. His record currently stands at 19-7-5 with a 1.89 goals against average, the Rangers put their faith in Lundqvist to beat the Devils and he does it time in and time out. Rangers head coach, John Tortorella had this to say about Lundqvist’s success against the Devils, “I’m playing Hank against New Jersey,” said Tortorella at the morning skate Friday. “I don’t care if it’s four games in four nights, Hank’s playing against Jersey.”
Brodeur on the other hand has a record of 42-24-15-5 with a 2.10 goals against average, he has been a thorn in the Rangers side ever since he stepped on to the ice in 1991. Now Brodeur will not be able to play in this game tonight due to a sore elbow so the great goaltending matchup that everyone loves won’t be here. Now the Rangers, as well as their fans, may feel better not having to face Brodeur but there is still one problem…the Devils signed Ranger killer, Johan Hedberg this off-season. Hedberg has a record of 11-4-2 with a 2.12 goals against average, so the Rangers don’t get much of a break here.
The Rangers have had their own mash unit this season. Marian Gaborik, Vinny Prospal, and Chris Drury have all been out for the past few weeks with injuries and Ryan Callahan can now be added to the list. The Rangers top scorer will not dress tonight as he is “too sore” to play, Callahan plays hard and his bound to get banged up but he is a really tough guy so if he can’t play then there is something really bothering him. Alex Frolov, who seems to be suffering from a case of Chris Higgins syndrome, will most likely take his place on the top line tonight. Frolov has only two goals and five points in 12 games so far this season but being paired with red-hot forwards, Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky may help him breakthrough.
Rangers may also be without winger Ruslan Fedotenko was elbowed in the head by the wonderful, Daniel Carcillo in last night’s game. He seems to be ready to go but if he can’t then the Rangers will go with 11 forwards and seven defenseman. Todd White will also be back in the lineup tonight as well to help fill in with all the injuries to the Rangers forward corps.
Even with all their injuries the Rangers should still be able to beat the Devils and that’s because of one person, Henrik Lundqvist. When the Rangers need him he delivers and even if the Rangers forwards and defenseman were swapped with a pee-wee hockey team, sometimes they look like they are, the Rangers would still have a chance to win this game. Lundqvist is just that good.
Rangers win 2-1