Rangers Roundup: Ryan Lindgren back, Mika Zibanejad goal scoring concerns, and more
The New York Rangers hit the ice on Wednesday for practice during their unofficial bye week, as they last played on Sunday and prepping for Saturday’s tilt versus the New Jersey Devils.
In the team’s last game, defenseman Ryan Lindgren took a high hit into the boards from Columbus’ Sean Kuraly early in the third period. He exited the contest and didn’t return to witness Alexis Lafreniere rally the Rangers to a 4-3 shootout win.
After the match, head coach Peter Laviolette stated he was day-to-day with an upper-body injury. With defenseman Adam Fox on LTIR, major concerns as to Lindgren’s health were warranted.
Of course, the Rangers version of Iron Man, as Igor Shesterkin called him, was back at it and a full participant.
Ryan Lindgren back at practice and other injury news
Already dealing with the losses of Fox (Lower-Body/LTIR), Filip Chytil (Upper-Body/IR), and Shesterkin (Lower-Body/Day-to-Day), the Rangers had to hold their breath after watching Lindgren get hurt.
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 eventually overcame thanks to Lafreniere’s late tying-goal and shootout winner.
“Lindgren came in [Tuesday] to get a skate on his own and joined the group today,” Laviolette revealed. “He’s a rugged guy and plays the game really hard… He came in the next day (after the injury) and felt great.”
The 25 year-old has one assist through 13 games this season. His 17 hits and 14 blocks rank 6th in both categories on the Rangers.
Unfortunately, there isn’t any good news on Chytil at this time. The young center has yet to skate since leaving against Carolina (11/2) after an open ice hit.
On the positive side, Shesterkin is progressing nicely and is expected to return versus the Devils.
Mika Zibanejad’s goal scoring woes
Last season, Mika Zibanejad scored 39 goals and 91 points in 82 games. After 14 games, he’s registered just 2 goals and 10 points, well off his normal pace.
Should the Rangers be concerned? According to the head coach, absolutely not.
“I think it’s a matter of time,” Laviolette stated. “He’s had looks, and he knows how to shoot a puck. I personally think it’s just a matter of time.”
Zibanejad, 30, just played in his 500th game with the Blueshirts on Sunday. To date, he’s registered 465 points since joining the team. For his career, he’s amassed 616 points in 781 contests.
NHL Talking OT Changes
The NHL is apparently considering some changes to the current 3-on-3 overtime that would eliminate teams from exiting the zone to retain possession.
According to NHL VP of Hockey Ops Colin Campbell, they may consider a shot clock, and not allow them to exit the zone after gaining it.
The reason for this would be to try and eliminate the number of games that go to a shootout. Here’s an idea, extend OT to 10 minutes. Considering the number of high-end offensive chances that occur 3-on-3, it would drastically reduce the number of shootouts.