New York Rangers were wise to rest Patrick Kane
The New York Rangers went with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen for two games last week to give Patrick Kane crucial time off before the playoffs start next week.
Prior to the Blueshirts acquiring the 34 year-old forward near the trade deadline, there was rampant speculation that a nagging lower-body injury was not only hampering his play, but may require a procedure.
Kane didn’t take too kindly to those rumors as he was very hopeful to work a trade out to the Rangers, which eventually happened.
Patrick Kane rested and ready for playoffs
The Rangers are looking for a long playoff run that ends after four rounds with a shiny trophy raised overhead.
Kane is the team’s oldest skater once you rule out the goalies (Jaroslav Halak is 37). Coupled with the normal wear and tear players feel during a season, it was wise to rest him in their back-to-back set versus the Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Louis Blues. The Rangers beat Tampa but lost in OT to St. Louis.
“He’s maintenance, lower-body, day-to-day,” Gerard Gallant explained. “If this was next week he’d be playing. We’re being smart with him.”
The veteran said as much prior to rejoining the lineup against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. A game where the Blueshirts played a rock solid 60 minutes en route to a 4-0 triumphant with Kane recording an assist and getting the play started on Chris Kreider’s earlier tally.
This season, Kane has registered 56 points in 71 games mostly with the struggling Chicago Blackhawks. Since joining the Rangers, he’s recored 5 goals and 11 points in 17 contests.
While those aren’t jaw-dropping numbers, he wasn’t acquired to lead the team in scoring. Kane is here because he’s won 3 Stanley Cups and has a penchant for scoring in the clutch come postseason action.
For his illustrious career, Kane has recorded 48 goals and 125 points in 136 playoff matches. Five of those goals came in overtime (2 in double OT) with the biggest being in Game 6 of the 2009-10 Stanley Cup Final to win the series.
New York has only two more games left this season beginning tonight against the Buffalo Sabres followed by two days off before taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
The Rangers know Kane is no longer the young stallion he used to be. However, he still has plenty of fire and drive left in the tank to get them to their ultimate goal.
A rested Patrick Kane should be one of the team’s top performers when it matters most this season.