clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2015 NHL Playoffs: Rest, Relaxation And Recuperation

The Rangers have a very rare opportunity to take advantage of right now. Rest.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

These are the spoils of the NHL Playoffs when you actually finish a series in less than seven games. The Rangers took down the Penguins in five, and while it was a much more difficult fight than the final 4-1 series score might indicate, the Rangers still took care of business early.

So look around you for a moment and appreciate it. The Rangers did nothing Saturday and Sunday. They will probably have a light skate today before figuring out the upcoming Second Round schedule tomorrow. When was the last time you had an opportunity to sit and wait for the next round's schedule without having to catch your breath from the elimination game the Rangers fought through the night before?

Yeah, it's been a long time.

This rest actually comes at the perfect time. We're still not totally sure what's going on with Mats Zuccarello -- and aside from a vague description containing the word "alright" no information has leaked -- which should really be the only reason for true concerns at this juncture.

Any Zuccarello injury is a serious problem, especially if it's long term. Outside of the fact Martin St. Louis -- who has been mostly invisible this postseason -- would probably need to move up to the top-six, Zuccarello is easily one of the Rangers best creative forwards at both even strength and the power play. And for a team that scored more than two goals only once (and ironically lost that game) in the First Round, the Rangers need all the help they can get. Hopefully it's just a bruise and he actually is day-to-day.

This time off is also going to help Kevin Klein in terms of getting healthy. Alain Vigneault admitted Klein is taking longer to heal than they expected, which is actually a good thing to hear because it means the Rangers are doing the right thing and waiting until he's completely healthy before inserting him back into the lineup. And (not to toot my own horn) but Matt Hunwick has been a fine replacement and hasn't missed a beat. The Rangers don't need to rush Klein back.

Outside of the bumps and bruises, it's just an opportunity to rest up a little. The playoffs are often described as a marathon, which is almost a perfect fit. It really is a second season, and any chance you have to freshen up helps give you an added edge. This is a luxury the Rangers have not had for a long time; so it's nice to see other teams battle for their lives while the Rangers get some extra rest.

It's been a rarity for the Rangers, though, so they need to take advantage of it an enjoy it.

And hopefully it provides a little extra incentive to do it again, too.