Mats Zuccarello is officially “day to day” but how far is he from playing?
Today, Alain Vigneault was asked about the status of Mats Zuccarello. “He’s day to day. Getting better,” the coach replied. While this is an upgrade from “out indefinitely” it isn’t a big thumbs up that he will be playing Game 6 or anytime soon for that matter.
The last time he skated was with the extras prior to game 4 on the 21st. Zuccarello hasn’t skated since and no word was given as to when he will skate again.
According to the NHL SCAT 2 protocol, Zuccarello remains at step 4.
- Complete rest until symptom-free
- Light aerobic exercise
- Sport-specific exercise
- Non-contact drills
- Full-contact drills after medical clearance
- Return to competition
By looking at this, Zuccarello would need to get into at least one full contact practice and show no signs of post concussion symptoms in order to be cleared to play. Tomorrow is a travel day and that means the Rangers will likely not skate until Tuesday. Even if he practiced in full, it wouldn’t mean he could play game 6. At this point, his most likely return date could be a Game 7 if necessary.
While today’s update is great news, it doesn’t mean we will see Zuccarello back in this series. The hope, both for him and the team would be availability in the next round. That would mean not only is Zuccarello healthy but the Rangers dreams of winning the Cup are still alive.