If you were able to catch the second half of game 3 you may have noticed Ryan Strome’s absence. Right after the second period began, Ondrej Palat following closely behind Strome, cross checked him from behind. While this is by definition an illegal play, in comparison to many things gone uncalled in the playoffs, it appears quite innocent.
However, it’s been a long postseason and with the warrior mentality that hockey players questionably live by, the above cross check from Palat could have aggravated something Strome has been dealing with for some time now. We only have to go back to game 2 to see him take a much nastier shot to the same area from another Tampa Bay Lightning player.
Cameras catch Anthony Cirerlli throwing a DIRTY cross check to Ryan Strome while he was on his knees. pic.twitter.com/ZudWNeaQw5— CenterIceHockey (@CenterIcefb) June 4, 2022
This story does end with some good news. While Ryan Strome isn’t skating today, the Rangers’ unofficial second line center will be ready for game 4 tomorrow. However as Vince does point out, take this with a grain of salt as Gallant has said many things in the past regarding injuries and timetables for a player’s return.
Gallant: Ryan Strome is not skating today, but "he should be fine to go tomorrow." @NYRangers— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 6, 2022
GG on Strome: “He should be fine tomorrow… We fully expect him to play.”— Vince Z. Mercogliano (@vzmercogliano) June 6, 2022
Of course, take with a grain of salt. We probably won’t know for sure until warmups. #NYR
Although criticized by many, Strome is an integral part of the Rangers’ offense. He plays an important role on their PP and second line giving the Rangers some much needed depth to match up against some of the best teams in the league. If Strome wasn’t ready we could anticipate Rooney coming in for him and Gallant either shifting Chytil down from the kid line (which would be a monumental mistake) or having Goodrow play in the top 6 where he is way less effective.