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Rangers Practice Report; Nash and Buchnevich to play tomorrow night, Zibanejad very close to return

Bobby Bevilacqua

rick-nash-and-pavel-buchnevich

The Rangers got some fantastic news today regarding their injured players, and the team will get both Rick Nash and Pavel Buchnevich back in their lineup for tomorrow night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Buchnevich was recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack this afternoon after a brief stint for conditioning and to get him playing some games during the bye week. Buchnevich played in three games and recorded a goal and an assist as well as a plus-one rating. In 10 games with the Rangers this season, he’s scored four goals and four assists with a plus-four rating. He posted a four game goal streak stretching from Nov. 5-Nov. 12 before he was sidelined with back spasms.

Rick Nash has been out with a groin injury which came after re-aggravating a previous groin injury. Nash told reporters that there is no lingering pain in the groin like there was the first time he injured it. And while the rehab did not change from the first time, he did give the injury more time to heal. Read the rest of this entry

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Report: Marc Staal dealing with post-concussion syndrome

Bobby Bevilacqua

marc-staal-profile-11-8

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

For the last two games, Marc Staal has been held out of the lineup with what the Rangers stated as an “upper-body injury.” Well according to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, it seems like the injury that has kept him out of the lineup is actually post-concussion syndrome.

Here’s what Larry Brooks wrote in his article;

Marc Staal’s status is unclear for the short-term as he recovers from apparent post-concussion symptoms that sidelined him for the Rangers’ final two games prior to this bye week, The Post has learned.

Staal, who has been working out at the club’s practice facility this week, did not go through the NHL’s concussion protocol after he was held out of last week’s games in Philadelphia and Columbus with what was announced as an unidentified “upper body” injury. Read the rest of this entry

Halfway there: Evaluating the Rangers at the midpoint of the season

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-goal-celebration-11-3

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

We’re officially halfway through the Rangers season, and it’s been a pretty good start despite some injuries, rough stretches and a lot of new players for Alain Vigneault to figure out and utilize properly.

With a 27-13-1 record along with practically same defensive unit as last season, the Rangers have probably exceeded most people’s expectations. Their 55 points are tied with the Penguins for second in the division, as well as being tied for the second most points in the entire league (Pittsburgh has played three fewer games). The Blue Jackets sit in first in the division and the league thanks to their incredible 16 game win streak that stretched from late November into January.

Given the situation with all of the forward injuries, the first half of the season has been a big success. There have been some issues and rough patches, like with just about every team, but it’s hard not to come away with more positives than negatives. Read the rest of this entry

Injury Update: Josh Jooris out indefinitely with a separated shoulder

Bobby Bevilacqua

josh-jooris-skating-10-19

UPDATE: The Rangers have placed Dylan McIlrath on waivers. I’m not sure why because they didn’t need the cap space, but hopefully he doesn’t get claimed. The only thing I can think of is moving a bit of money for a trade, but other than that I’m not too sure.

Last night during the Rangers’ 5-2 win over the Boston Bruins, Josh Jooris left the game in the first period following a hit on Torey Krug. He did not return to the game.

Following the game, AV announced to reporters that Jooris had suffered a separated shoulder and is out “indefinitely.”

Jooris had scored one goal in five games but his impact has been felt in other ways as well. Jooris was a good defensive fourth liner, had been effective at suppressing shots and played his role well. With Lindberg back, the Rangers have another player like him to step in if needed but their depth will be impacted. Read the rest of this entry

BREAKING: Henrik Lundqvist leaves practice…twice

Bobby Bevilacqua

henrik lundqvist side profile good pic 11-25

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

UPDATE (3:26): Alain Vigneault stated that Henrik Lundqvist was ill and was not able to complete practice. He didn’t seem concerned and said that he expects Hank to be healthy and ready to practice tomorrow. He also said that Ryan McDonagh definitely would miss the start of the playoffs, and that Girardi, Eric Staal, Zuccarello and Stalberg should be good to go

On Monday afternoon during the Rangers first practice before the playoffs, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist left the ice on two separate occasions and did not return after the second time.

The first time, Lundqvist skated off of the ice and to the locker room, forcing one of the equipment managers to scramble to get changed into goalie equipment. Lundqvist returned to the ice 14 minutes later and practiced for about five minutes. But he wound up going over to head coach Alain Vigneault, speaking to him briefly and leaving the ice for good, being replaced by an equipment manager. (All information from Pat Leonard on Twitter).

This may the worst possible news the Rangers could have received. Henrik Lundqvist has been the biggest reason for the Rangers’ success in recent years, and he’s been the cornerstone of this franchise since 2005. Lundqvist has been phenomenal in the playoffs, especially last season, where he allowed just 20 goals in the first 13 games of the playoffs.

If Henrik Lundqvist is out long term, and this is not confirmed in anyway, then the Rangers shot at winning the Cup this season is significantly impacted. Couple the loss of McDonagh with the potential loss of Lundqvist and the Rangers will have a hard time getting out of the first round.

Antti Raanta would fill in, and thankfully, he’s been stellar to end the season, winning seven of his last eight starts, allowing two goals or less in all seven of those wins. Raanta has shown to be a capable goaltender when called upon, but no Lundqvist would make the Rangers’ lives a lot more difficult.

As far as other news on the Rangers players, Eric Staal, Mats Zuccarello and Viktor Stalberg all skated today and fully participated in the drills. Dan Girardi skated in a contact jersey and Ryan McDonagh skated in a non-contact jersey, but McDonagh left the ice before practice started.

Stay tuned to The Ranger Zone for more updates on the situation.