Adam Fox resumes skating, great sign for red-hot Rangers
On Sunday, New York Rangers star defenseman Adam Fox was seen skating in a red non-contact jersey. It is the first time Fox has participated in a team practice since sustaining a lower-body injury on November 2nd. Despite losing their Norris trophy-winning blueliner, the Rangers have continued their hot start to the season.
Without Fox, the Blueshirts have still managed a record of 4-0-1. That includes games played with injuries to Igor Shesterkin, Filip Chytil, and Jonathan Quick. Their biggest victory thus far came on Saturday night when they defeated their rivals, the New Jersey Devils with a gutsy 5-3 win. It was certainly a statement win for the Rangers, who took over the Prudential Center in last season’s playoff rematch.
With Fox skating once again, the Rangers are one step closer to adding a dynamic piece back to their lineup. “He’s had some light skates on his own,” Peter Laviolette mentioned. “The next progression is to mix him in. It’s another positive step for him and a step in the right direction.”
Adam Fox working his way back to Rangers lineup
Fox was off to a great start this season before suffering his injury against the Carolina Hurricanes. In 10 games he has 11 points, 9 coming on the powerplay. He averages 21:03 minutes on ice per game, and has continued to be the Rangers’ top defenseman. Adding him back to a Rangers team that is on a roll without him is a scary sight for the rest of the league.
While there is still no timetable for his return, the approaching end date for long-term injured reserve players is looking more promising. When a player is placed on LTIR, they must miss 10 games and 24 days of action. This makes Fox eligible to return November 29th against the Detroit Red Wings.
“Me personally, I would stay away from commenting because I think that there’s a progression that goes with players,” Laviolette explained. “It’s positive that he’s gotten some skates, it’s positive that he’s out there with some players. You hope to see him continue to progress, but I’m going to stay away from timetables.”
While hope is bright for an end of November return, it is important not to rush back from injury. For Fox, there is no reason to rush as the Rangers have been taking care of business in his absence. With a 12-2-1 record and a comfortable five-point lead in the Metropolitan division, getting Fox back could turn the Rangers into an even stronger powerhouse.
Fox brings value to all areas of the ice. He moves the puck exceptionally well both out of the defensive zone and within the offensive zone. He creates offense, is strong defensively, and contributes on both the power play and penalty kill. Bringing his point-per-game production back to the Rangers will give an offensive boost to an already scorching hot team.
Fox should certainly help the Rangers score. They currently sit 18th in the NHL in goals for, and he will also make the starting six defensemen incredibly strong. Even having missed five games, the Rangers still rank 2nd in goals allowed. They are 5th in goal differential and have the second-best win percentage at .833%.
Adding Fox back to the lineup undoubtedly gives the Rangers a better chance of winning. Have they been fine without him? Surprisingly, yes. Will they be an even better team once he is back? Most definitely. The Rangers still have some work to do before his return, but having Fox back at practice was certainly a great sight to see for players and fans alike.