The New York Rangers find themselves down two top-six forwards and will need to rely on their depth in Hartford to continue winning games.
The New York Rangers have played three games (1-1-1) and have three games remaining on this road trip in which the lineup has dramatically changed.
The team will have to rely on their depth with both Ryan Strome and Kaapo Kakko post of the lineup.
In Saturday night’s win over the Montreal Canadiens, the Blueshirts played without center Ryan Strome. He is currently in Covid protocol with no timetable of when he will return to the lineup.
Kaapo Kakko was injured in that game during the first period. He didn’t return to the game and on Sunday was placed on injured reserve with what the team has listed as an upper-body injury. Per the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement, Kakko will be out at least for the next seven days. He is eligible to return this Saturday when the Rangers visit the Ottawa Senators.
The Blueshirts, who are unable to recall Vitali Kravtsov as he has opted to go back to Russia, recalled Greg McKegg for the Montreal game and then recalled Morgan Barron following the Kakko IR designation.
These are the times where the team’s depth will be tested. During the Rangers media session after their win Saturday night, forward Sammy Blais mentioned the challenge of having two layers out of the lineup,
“Obviously we have two good players out of the lineup, everyone is going to have to chip in more”
The Rangers will play four games in the next seven days beginning with their game in Toronto on Monday.
Head coach Gerard Gallant will have top layer his lines with both Strome and Kakko normally playing on the second line along with Artemi Panarin.
The team held an optional practice Sunday and in Gallant’s media session he was not ready to commit to who would be in the lineup for Monday’s game.