Bantering Points: The Injury Bug Edition
The Injury Bug is hanging over the Rangers so far this season, which is exactly what the team didn't need to start the year.
- When we talked about the New York Rangers' opening stretch -- which included nine-straight games on the road and a grueling West Coast swing to open up the year -- being a really tough way to open a season. That was assuming everyone was healthy, which has ended up not being the case. Rick Nash suffered a concussion in the 9-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks. As if that wasn't bad enough, now Ryan Callahan has a broken thumb and could miss up to a month. Carl Hagelin is still sidelined and Michael Del Zotto is out with the flu. That's a lot of talent not on the ice.
- More importantly, there was a massive negative reaction when the Rangers sent down Cam Talbot and subsequently called up Darroll Powe and Jason Missiaen. For the record, Talbot being sent down makes a ton of sense. He has to get some playing time, and he'll start for Hartford this weekend. He can't just be stapled to the bench, it doesn't help anyone.
- I actually love the Powe call up. For those of you who wish the Rangers had recalled Chris Kreider or Danny Kristo, let me ask you this: How was J.T. Miller used against the Capitals? If you guessed "buried in the defensive zone," you win! Miller has started in the defensive zone 72.6% of the time in his two games with the big club. That is the most among anyone on the team. So maybe, just maybe, Alain Vigneault has a plan, and the plan is to give Powe those defensive assignments and give Miller an opportunity to create some offense. Just a thought.
- The Rangers really need Nash back as soon as possible. The problem? The organization can't rush him. You don't want to play games with head injuries, especially when the best player on the team has one. But with Callahan out and Hagelin still on the bench, the Rangers miss his scoring.
- I still love John Moore on the power play. I really think he can make a difference there if given an opportunity to get comfortable.
- I don't see a trade on the horizon, to be honest with you. If the Rangers do need an infusion of offense they can call up Kreider or Kristo or even both. As it stands the Rangers need guys like Mats Zuccarello and Benoit Pouliot to step up and start creating some offense. They've both had chances, but they haven't been able to make anything happen. That has to change, and it has to change soon.
- Thank God Brad Richards is playing so well, right?