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Posts Tagged ‘injury’

The Rangers had a team meeting yesterday followed by an optional skate, but only Jaromir Jagr and Marek Malik took the ice.

Evgeni Malkin’s dirty plays (he slew-footed Mara twice!) towards the end of the game seem to be a non-issue for the Rangers and for the league. NHL Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell told John Dellapina of the Daily News that the league does not plan to investigate further and Malkin is not at risk for suspension. I call shenanigans. This is a dirty play [fast forward to 1:35].

For their part, the Rangers contacted the league regarding a different play Malkin was involved with: the breakaway that led to the penaty shot. While Dan Girardi did push Malkin from behind, and while most parties agree it should be a penalty, the Rangers would like some clarification on the rule because it was not a penalty as per the NHL rulebook.

Avery update: His doctors reported they were able to stop the internal bleeding on Thursday, but Avery remained in intensive care as of yesterday.

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As if coming back from 0-3 in the series wasn’t going to be hard enough, the Rangers are going to have to do with it without Sean Avery (lacerated spleen), Blair Betts (broken bone in face), and without a 100% Chris Drury (torso injury). Drury is probable but after watching him skate at half speed and not taking any faceoffs in the 3rd period of game 3, I have to think he’s playing hurt.

So, where does that leave the Rangers? Well, the situation is not very good. Betts and Drury are the team’s top penalty killers, and the Penguins power play was destroying the Rangers despite Betts and Drury’s best efforts. I would be surprised to see Drury on the penalty kill even if he does play tonight. Now, without their services, it will be up to Scott Gomez, Ryan Callahan, and possibly Brandon Dubinsky to really step up their penalty killing.

Who is going to fill the empty spots in the lineup? Hartford call-up Lauri Korpikoski is going to play center for the 4th line but it’s not clear who will play wing and it’s also not clear who will play on the 2nd line in place of Sean Avery. It will be some combination of Prucha, Orr, and Hollweg. Korpikoski, the 19th overall pick in the 2004 draft, will be making his NHL debut tonight. Hopefully he can make the most of his 2-3 shifts per period. I think Prucha makes the most sense to fill in on the 2nd line. On Defense, Jason Strudwick will play along side Paul Mara in place of Christian Backman.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the situation does not look very good. But, there is still some hope. The Rangers have lost 3 in a row, but the Pens haven’t exactly dominated the Rangers in this series. The Rangers let a 3-goal lead slip through their fingers in game 1, and in game 3 the Rangers dominated the flow of the game but couldn’t capitalize on scoring chances as effectively as the Penguins.

It’s possible, right?

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Maybe Avery did go into cardiac arrest? I’m not quite sure how to interpret John Dellapina’s most recent blog post (scroll down to the last 3 paragraphs for the part I’m talking about). Here is the quote:

“Finally, for all those from other media outlets and newspapers who have sarcastically dismissed our initial web story about Sean Avery’s hospitalization since the Rangers refuted it Wednesday afternoon, I wonder:

Was your initial reaction that the story couldn’t have been correct or did you simply race up to the MSG Training Center to get player reaction? And, did you call the hospital and/or Avery’s representatives to get the real story or did your “reporting” simply consist of taking the team’s word for what happened?

Fortunately, the intrepid men an women of the press who have exposed baseball’s steroid problems didn’t similarly regurgitate what they were told by people who understandably want their businesses viewed as beyond reproach.”

You can read that in 2 ways. Either he is saying the initial Daily News report was correct, that Avery did go into cardiac arrest, and the Rangers are covering up the truth of Avery’s condition… or, Mr. Dellapina is chastising his colleagues at other papers for so quickly dismissing the Daily News reporting, without doing any investigative reporting of their own, simply because the Rangers’ PR machine said so.

I think it is the latter, but I guess we will have to wait for the whole truth to come out.  At the very least, Dellapina makes a good point.  We should always question what we read and what we hear.

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Sean Avery was rushed to St. Vincent’s Medical Center after the team’s game 3 loss and was diagnosed with a lacerated spleen. Avery’s spleen was not removed and he isn’t expected to need surgery, but he will most likely remain hospitalized for the next few days.

Avery will be out for the rest of this season, but is expected to make a full recovery.

You can read the SI article here.  ESPN article here.

Update, 3:00 PM: Initial reports from the Daily News that said Avery had gone into cardiac arrest and was unconscious are being denied by the Rangers, who say he “walked into the hospital” and was never in a life-threatening situation.

Personally, I want to add that we here at 5-hole.com wish Sean all the best in his recovery and we hope to see him in Broadway blue next year.

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I have to admit I completely underestimated the Penguins before this series. I look back at my series preview and I can’t believe I gave the edge to the Rangers offense. I let the flashy shot totals from the regular season get to my head. What I didn’t take into account was which team was going to capitalize on their scoring chances.

These Penguins certainly know how to put the puck into the net, scoring on 5 out of 17 shots in this game. You can’t fault Lundqvist. His save percentage looks terrible on paper, but not one of those goals was his fault. He wasn’t spectacular, but he wasn’t bad either.

How did the Penguins score 5 goals? It’s as simple as this: The Penguins offense was faster than the Rangers defense with and without the puck. The Rangers defense was burned several times, and frequently coughed up the puck throughout the game.

In the 2nd period, the Rangers seemed to have stolen the momentum after tying the game at 3 and keeping possession deep in the Penguins zone for well over a minute and a half. Then, Ryan Hollweg took a braindead momentum killing boarding penalty.  The Penguins power play, which was absolutely killer, capitalized to make it 4-3. The Pens only had 2 power play chances, but scored on both. (The Rangers went 0 for 5).

So where do the Rangers go from here? The series isn’t technically over, but really, it is.

I’d be surprised if the Rangers can even pull out a win in game 4.

Game notes: I’m not sure what happened to Drury, but he’s definitely hurt. After missing most of the 2nd period, he came back in the 3rd but wasn’t taking faceoffs. (Avery skated at center with Drury on the wing). Blair Betts might be seriously hurt after blocking a slapshot. Renney tried a number of different line combinations, but none of them seemed to work. I really don’t like seeing Brendan Shanahan on the 4th line. Gomez and Avery did not generate any scoring chances with Sjostrom on their line. If Renney was going to keep Shanny on the 4th line, why wouldn’t he dress Prucha instead of Hollweg?? I just don’t get it. I’d really like to see someone, anyone, other than Hollweg after that braindead momentum killing boarding penalty.

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