Keeping Kevin Klein out is the right thing to do
The NHL Playoffs are a war of attrition. Aside from being good, you need to be real lucky and I’m not talking whacky puck bounces either. Health! In the sport of hockey, usually the team with the least significant injuries wins the series.
Want a prime example? Just look at who is out for the Penguins and the fact that their 2nd best player Evgeni Malkin is playing with a rumored back injury that should have him sitting. That is why the fact that Alain Vigneault has opted to sit Kevin Klein tonight for game 5, just a day after saying he was 50/50 makes sense.
Vigneault told the media that there is no setback and that the bone is just taking longer to heal than expected. Couple that with the solid play of Matt Hunwick and a 3-1 series lead and this is a no-brainer. If the Rangers were facing elimination, I’m sure Klein would suit up even if he’s not 100%. Having seen video of him at practice he looks like he could go.
Now, if the Rangers can close this series out tonight the second round would likely not start until next Wednesday or Thursday. The Capitals and Islanders are set to play game 6 tomorrow in D.C.. If a game 7 is required it will be played Monday night in Washington. Getting Klein that extra time is exactly the best case scenario the Rangers could create for themselves.
Time to get it done.