The New York Rangers took a 5–1 beat down last night by the Buffalo Sabres, but that somehow was not the Blueshirts’ biggest loss of the evening. In a season where injuries seem to be stacking up on top of each other, the Rangers have suffered another devastating blow.
The Rangers were doomed to fail right from puck drop, as nothing seemed to be going right for New York. But when the Blueshirts lost one of their key forwards later in the game, it was clear that the matchup would be a complete failure.
Kakko left the game early with an apparent leg injury
Towards the tail end of the second period, Rangers forward Kaapo Kakko twisted his leg in a way that no leg should ever be moved. The former second-overall draft puck laid on the ice in what appeared to be extreme pain until the play was called dead by the officials, and then was promptly carried to the locker room without putting any weight on his leg.
It was immediately clear that this awkward fall would put an end to Kakko’s night. The Rangers would announce shortly after that the forward would not be returning to the matchup, and the Blueshirts then went on to finish the game with only 11 offensive players on the bench.
The Rangers may be without Kakko for an extended period of time
Per Vince Mercogliano, the Rangers have recalled forwards Jonny Brodzinski and Adam Edström from the Hartford Wolfpack this morning. This is a clear indication that Kakko won’t be returning from injury anytime soon, and that the Blueshirts are preparing to be without Kakko for a decent amount of time.
As of now, the organization has yet to place Kakko on the IR. It’s a waiting game at this point to see just how severe the leg injury is, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s a while before Kakko is back on the ice.
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What are the Rangers losing with Kakko out?
Kakko has been quite underwhelming offensively this season. The former second-overall pick was expected to embark on a high-scoring breakout campaign on the first line but was quickly demoted to the bottom six after a rough start to the year.
While Kakko has only recorded three points across 20 games played, this is still a pretty devastating loss. There may not be a lot of offensive production on his part, but he’s played great defensively on an overall solid third line. The chemistry that has been built will now have to be altered due to injury once again, and there’s no telling when it can be fixed.