Need Injury Advice? The New York Rangers Can Just Look to their Next Opponent

New York Rangers, Igor Shesterkin

The New York Rangers have struggled a bit in their last couple of games. It is not like losing to the Philadelphia Flyers twice in a row is a bad thing, but it was how they lost that has many worried. The Blueshirts have now had to deal with injuries to two of their major players in recent days after Chris Kreider will be lost for an undetermined amount of time, joining Igor Shesterkin who has been out after being involved in an auto accident. Injuries to key players always take a little time to adjust, a luxury the Rangers do not really have. But if they are looking for a model of how to deal with it, they can look at the opponent Tuesday night, the St. Louis Blues.

What have the Blues done that the New York Rangers can learn from?

Let’s set aside the Jay Boumeester situation for just a minute. That is a little bit of a unique situation. The big injury that the Blues had to overcome was to Vladimir Tarasneko, who underwent surgery on his left shoulder after he was injured in an Oct. 24 game against the Los Angeles Kings and was originally stated to be out for at least five months. He has recently started practicing with the team and could rejoin them in time for the playoffs. However, they went through a long stretch of the season without a player who scored over 33 goals in each of the past five seasons. So how did they survive and remain in first place in their division? The fact that young talents such as Zach Sanford and Jordan Kyrou have turned up their games recently has helped ease the pain of this loss. A Blues player may have summed it up best when Oskar Sundqvist said. “We’re starting to find our game and we’re a tight group in here, especially in the D-zone. We’re finding our roles, and that’s important now as it was during the whole season.” It is not like the Blues have had smooth sailing all season long. In one recent stretch, the Blues went in a 2-7-3 funk until winning four games by a combined score of 13-2. So the key is to have the expectation that all of the players need to step up. The Rangers cannot afford to have games like the did Sunday from Ryan Strome, who was eventually benched by head coach David Quinn.  The Rangers did a good thing by having a talk with Strome as Quinn stated on Monday that “We talked before practice today, and I would do that with any player. Letting the guy wonder isn’t good for anybody. He’s back at it, and we’ll need him.” The Rangers will need every single player on their roster to play like they are capable if they have any chance to weather these injuries and capture a playoff spot.