Rangers Recall: Overcoming injuries and tough calls to beat Columbus
The New York Rangers just completed a perfect three-game home-stand with a rip-roaring 4-3 comeback shootout win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night.
Already dealing with the losses of Adam Fox (Lower-Body/LTIR), Filip Chytil (Upper-Body/IR), and Igor Shesterkin (Lower-Body/Day-to-Day), they were handed another challenge. Early in the third period, Sean Kuraly leveled an off-balance Ryan Lindgren hard into the boards, knocking him out of the game and possibly worse.
On the play, the refs initially called a 5-minute boarding major, only to review it and reduce it to a minor. It was just another infuriating officiating decision that plagued the Rangers all game which they had to overcome.
Let’s look at some key takeaways from last night’s victory over Columbus.
Rangers Recall: Injuries and poor officiating
Ryan Lindgren injury
After the game, head coach Peter Laviolette called Lindgren day-to-day with an upper-body injury and noted he would be reevaluated.
“I thought they had the right call originally,” Laviolette commented on Kuraly hit. “There was something going on between those guys through the course of the game and his elbow clearly took [Lindgren] to the head.”
Lindgren, 25, has one assist through 13 games this season. His 17 hits and 14 blocks rank 6th in both categories on the Rangers.
The Blueshirts have a week off before they face the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. If Lindgren can’t go, Connor Mackey could make his debut. The 27 year-old lefty defenseman was signed a one-year deal this past summer. He has 39 games of NHL experience with 11 points.
The Rangers point streak has now reached 10 games (9-0-1) with the team sitting atop the Metro Division (11-2-1 and 23 points), 5 points better than the second-place Carolina Hurricanes. They achieved this by not only dealing with a boatload of injuries but, as alluded to before, some very poor officiating.
It all started after Jacob Trouba laid a clean hit and was challenged by Adam Fantilli. The Rangers captain pushed the Jackets’ aggressor away and was called for roughing. However, the most egregious display of incompetence came late in the second period when a Will Cuylle shot from a bad angle was clearly in the net.
The rookie immediately skated by and pointed to the official it was in. At least 3-5 seconds ticked by with the ref searching for the puck behind the net before he blew the whistle. After an excruciating long video review involving hockey ops in Toronto, and a shot of the puck over the line, the determination was that the play was frozen.
Frozen? With a whistle that came well after the puck was over the line? Inexplicable.
Thankfully, the goaltending of Jonathan Quick and the clutch scoring of Alexis Lafreniere was enough to negate some very questionable officiating.