Michael Sauer Diagnosed With Concussion Following Hit By Dion Phaneuf
The New York Rangers announced today that defenseman Michael Sauer has been diagnosed with a concussion. During the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dion Phaneuf delivered a hard, but clean hit to Sauer. He appeared injured on the play, was slow to his feet, and did not return to the game.
It is almost certain that Sauer will not play tomorrow against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but he is listed as day-to-day. Anton Stralman will most likely be inserted into the line-up tomorrow night, which makes the Rangers bottom four on defense very vulnerable. Stralman will be paired with Jeff Woywitka on the third pairing, and Steve Eminger will move up to play with Michael Del Zotto.
Losing Sauer is a serious blow the Rangers line-up, as they are already missing their top defenseman, Marc Staal. Sauer has been a vital part of the "core" that the Rangers rely on. While it's a serious blow, if the Rangers stick to their game, they can still win hockey games.
Also be sure to check out Joe's interview with Mike Keenan, as he discusses his opportunity to coach the 2012 NHL Alumni Game.