Per Pat Leonard, Ryane Clowe is at practice and skating in a non-contact jersey. This is the first time he has skated since his injury during the last week of the season. Also, Derek Dorsett skated in a contact jersey for the first time during his rehab. Marc Staal and Brian Boyle are also on the ice.
Per Pat Leonard, there were no major changes to the Rangers lineup during practice today. Marc Staal (regular jersey) and Derek Dorsett (non-contact jersey) both skated. Brian Boyle and Ryane Clowe did not skate. This is semi-good news, as Staal in a regular jersey is a very good sign. His return is the most important, as the Rangers need him against Alex Ovechkin.
Per Steve Zipay, the only change in the practice lines has Micheal Haley joining the fourth line trio of Darroll Powe, Kris Newbury, and Arron Asham. The other lines remained the same.
This news broke yesterday, but Brian Boyle is out indefinitely with a lower body injury. He did not play yesterday and won’t play tonight. The injury prompted the Rangers to recall Chris Kreider from the AHL. Kreider played 8 shifts for 7:02 of ice time during last night’s 6-1 win over Florida. It’s expected that Kreider will get the same amount of playing time as the Rangers comtinue to play must-win games.
A lot of people mocked Boyle’s injury. And while Boyle may not be the swiftest skater, he was able to eat minutes that Kreider is not ready to eat. The effect will be fatigue of other players. That’s big.
Derek Dorsett, the only trade deadline acquisition that has not played for the Rangers yet, skated today before practice (per Katie Strang). This was Dorsett’s first time skating since breaking his collarbone on March 8th while still with Columbus. Dorsett is a physical player who would fill out the fourth line with some more gritty play and a slight offensive touch (roughly ten goal potential). Dorsett was originally ruled out for the season, and while skating is a good thing, there’s still no timetable for his return/debut.
Per John Giannone, Marc Staal is traveling with the club to Pittsburgh and then to Carolina
and Toronto. There is still no time-table for his return, so don’t expect him to be returning to the lineup during this trip, but it is a step in the right direction. It was reported two days ago that Staal was working out off the ice, and it appears that he has ramped up those workouts. The optimist in me thinks he can be ready for the playoffs, but I still wouldn’t plan on having him back at all this season.
In the best news Rangers fans could possibly hope for on deadline day, Marc Staal was at the practice facility today doing an off-ice workout according to Katie Strang. Strang was told that Staal is “progressing, but slowly.”
Obviously Staal’s potential return is off in the distance, but this may be an indication that there’s hope Staal could play again this year. That would be a far better addition than anyone the Rangers might acquire on deadline day.
It looks like we have some positive news on the Marc Staal front. Per Kevin Paul Dupont, the Rangers expect Staal to miss an additional two or three weeks, assuming no setbacks in the recovery process. That represents the best possible scenario, and is great news for Staal and the Rangers.
Per pretty much everyone (Carp’s link is here), Brad Richards will return to the lineup tonight. Richards missed two games after being Patrick Kaleta’d into the boards. It’s safe to assume Micheal Haley will be out of the lineup, although I’d like to see him play a game over Stu Bickel.
The Rangers released a statement today about the status of Marc Staal:
“Following an injury suffered in last night’s game vs. Philadelphia, Marc Staal was examined today in New York by Dr. Mark Fromer, ophthalmologist, and Dr. Mendel Markowitz, maxillofacial surgeon. The injury has improved significantly and both doctors are optimistic that Marc will make a full recovery. Staal will be sidelined indefinitely.”
Fans can exhale a bit, as it appears Staal did not suffer significant injuries after taking the puck to his eye last night. The words “out indefinitely” always scare folks, but this injury is not career threatening.
Brandon Mashinter was returned to the AHL this morning after playing four games for the Rangers. Mash finished with a -2 rating, 7 hits, and 1 blocked shot in extremely limited playing time. Returning Mash to the AHL leaves the Rangers with 11 forwards, so it is likely that Rick Nash, the player who was on IR, will be reactivated for tomorrow’s game.
Speaking of Nash, he participated in practice today in a full-contact jersey. Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto also participated in practice, also with full-contact jerseys.