While entering this bye week, there are mixed emotions in the air given off by fans of the Blueshirts. Although the team is on a roll with a 10-game point streak, injuries are continuing to pile up. It’s some much-needed rest for the Rangers, but there is much to be evaluated over the course of the bye week.
Pro: The Rangers’ injured stars have time to rest without missing any more matchups
It’s been a while since the Rangers have seen Filip Chytil, Adam Fox, or Igor Shesterkin hit the ice. All three players were injured in the Blueshirts’ earlier matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes, and none have returned since. Jonathan Quick had also been injured, but he made a resurgence last night against the Blue Jackets.
In last night’s game, Ryan Lindgren also found himself being added to a long list of injuries. Per Mollie Walker, Lindgren is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Every player had their own individual recovery time, but this break from play will hopefully ensure that at least some of the stars will be set to return by the time the next Rangers’ matchup rolls around.
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Con: A long break from playing could slow the Rangers down
It’s usually better to utilize a bye week as a way to escape a stretch of rough play. Have a few days to take a breath and figure out how to turn things around. The Rangers appear to have the opposite problem, as the Blueshirts are entering their bye week on a 10-game point streak.
The last time the Rangers failed to record a point was in their regulation loss to Nashville earlier this season. They’ve managed to bring every team since to at least overtime, and have been riding a stretch of elite play over the last few weeks.
The Rangers need to ensure that this break does not slow down their momentum. When the Blueshirts return to face New Jersey, there can not be any time to warm back up, and must find a way to hit the ground running immediately.
Pro: Laviolette has more time to solidify the lineup
Although the Rangers won’t be playing any games over the next few days, practice will surely continue under head coach Peter Laviolette. Now 14 games deep into the season, Laviolette has a much better understanding of his team and what needs to be done in order to perfect the lineup.
Following this recent slew of injuries, Laviolette was forced to make adjustments to his lineup. Kaapo Kakko and Blake Wheeler swapped places, and Vincent Trocheck found himself back in the top six. With five days of zero pressure heading into tough matchups, Laviolette can continue to experiment with these line combinations and come up with a solid idea of what he wants the Rangers to look like when his stars return from injury.