Jesper Fast, courtesy of Newsday
The Rangers went into last night’s game with Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein already out through injury, but after the game they found themselves in full-on crisis mode. Mika Zibanejad went down in warmups, Krieder and Stepan both missed time in the first period, and Jesper Fast was injured on a huge hit in the 3rd period. The prognoses today, however, leave the Blueshirt faithful somewhat relieved. You can read about them here but to summarize:
- Mika Zibanejad did not feel 100% during the warmup after injuring his hand/arm against Columbus and held himself out of the game. He said that if it had been a playoff game, he would’ve played, so everything looks good for him to return to the lineup tomorrow.
- Derek Stepan wasn’t mentioned in the article at all, so although he can clearly be seen telling Jim Ramsey, “He hit me in the (expletive) head,” all is well for the Rangers’ alternate captain.
- Chris Kreider was held out of practice for one of AV’s periodic “maintenance days” after sustaining a minor lower body injury last night. He should also be good to go against Boston.
- Kevin Klein did not practice today but could somehow find his way into the lineup tomorrow.
- Michael Grabner injured his hip on an idiotic hit by Adam Clendening. I’ve been complimentary of Clendening’s play as our 7th D, but I’ve never wanted a bigger role for him. This bonehead move better shut up his supporters once and for all.
- Jesper Fast will be out for 2-3 weeks after separating his shoulder on a big hit by Capital’s captain, Alexander Ovechkin.
In all, the Rangers look to have avoided an utter catastrophe. Jesper Fast is a crucial part of the 4th line and Michael Grabner has had
a fluky an unbelievable year (anyone for a Tanner Glass return?) but the fact that the top 6 forward group survived last night’s beating is a huge plus for the team. And I totally forgot to mention that Pavel Buchnevich was sent down to the Hartford Wolfpack. It’s the first bit of true adversity for Pavel, and I’d rather see Pirri gone for good and Grabner on the 4th line, but he needs to play big minutes so this is the best thing for him.