Health concerns loom for both Rangers and Lightning heading into the ECF
The Stanley Cup Playoffs tend to be a war of attrition. Part of a team’s success beyond skill, grit and determination is health. Heading into the ECF both the NY Rangers and TB Lightning are likely licking wounds we don’t know about but there are a few we do have info on.
Mats Zuccarello (Upper Body Injury, Out Indefinitely)
The Rangers top line forward took a slapshot to the head from teammate Ryan McDonagh in Game 5 of their series clinching win against Pittsburgh. Zuccarello has been out for nearly 3 weeks and missed the entire 2nd round series against the Capitals.
Word surfaced out Norway last week that he is doing some light workouts. Now, Zuccarello told a reporter that he is “getting better” and Rangers coach, Alain Vigneault informed the media that Zuccarello was coming along.
To date, Zuccarello has not practiced with the team. If we learned anything from AV’s M.O., he must practice before suiting up. The ECF starts on Saturday afternoon, if Zuccarello can get on the ice with his team an appearance in this series is not out of the realm of possibility.
Plus he looked good celebrating last night.
— NY Rangers Zone (@NYRangersZone) May 14, 2015
Dan Boyle (Upper Body, No Status)
Last night in their series clinching win against the Capitals, Brooks Orpik leveled Dan Boyle in the head with a crunching hit. The 38 year old blue-liner missed the final 10:27 of the game and left the ice woozy.
Alain Vigneault mentioned to the media last night that Boyle “seemed fine” and they’ll know more tomorrow. As of now, no news has surfaced. If Boyle were to miss some time, Matt Hunwick who filled in beautifully during Kevin Klein‘s absence will fill the void. For what it’s worth, Boyle partook in the handshakes after the series was over.
Ryan Callahan (Emergency Appendectomy, Out Indefinitely)
Ryan Callahan is injury prone, this isn’t news. He plays a hard nosed brand of hockey and is as fearless as they come. However, this latest injury isn’t due to a blocked shot or big hit, it was an appendicitis.
Callahan had it removed on Monday and his status was uncertain. But this is Ryan Callahan folks, and he took a light skate with his team today. After, he spoke with the media and said his status is “day to day, and we’ll see how it goes.” It’s sure bet that he will be looking forward to play his former team and may be available for Game 1.
— Erik Erlendsson (@erlendssonTBO) May 14, 2015