Last night, Darroll Powe suffered a very unfortunate injury when he collided with Matt Hendricks early in the second period. The collision left both players shaken up, but Powe landed awkwardly on his head and was clearly knocked unconscious for a brief period. From the video, you can tell that once Powe came to, he was glassy-eyed and unable to skate under his own power. Although this is unconfirmed, that likely means he suffered a concussion.
While the injury may seem like one that the Rangers can readily handle, let’s remember that the depth on the fourth line was a serious issue before the Rangers dealt Mike Rupp for Powe. This deals a relatively big blow to the Rangers depth and their penalty killing, as Powe had been one of the Rangers most used penalty killers upon his arrival in New York.
Powe’s injury leaves the Rangers with four penalty killers (Ryan Callahan, Jeff Halpern, Brian Boyle, Derek Stepan) who will be relied upon heavily to take over Powe’s time on the PK. It’s possible that Rick Nash and/or Brad Richards see some time on the PK in a pinch, but the main PK responsibility will remain with these four guys.
The injury also leaves a pretty big hole on the fourth line at even strength. Arron Asham, who hasn’t seen more than five minutes of ice time in each of the past two games, will likely be needed to continue playing the way he did against Boston, when he recorded almost ten minutes of ice time. Jeff Halpern also falls into the category of fourth line players that will need to step up their game to earn double-digit ice time consistently.
The newly recalled Brandon Mashinter will likely slide into the fourth line role that Powe had, but he will need to earn the ice time if he wants to stay with the Rangers. The Powe injury takes a big cut out of the Rangers depth at forward, and everyone will need to step up their game to account for the missing Powe. While this injury likely doesn’t effect the offensive output, it might expose the Rangers bottom-six a little more than we had hoped.