The only thing that can wreck this rebuild are injuries and Vigneault
Ryan McDonagh is out tonight, and that’s a good thing. AV announced that McDonagh is dealing with an upper body injury since SJ and will likely not make the trip. That takes one huge piece needed to rebuild and puts him safely in street clothes.
The one thing that can really derail a rebuild is a serious injury to players like Nash, Zuccarello, and Grabner. These are big trading pieces heading to the trade deadline. Of course, you never want to see any player get hurt (ever), but the Rangers future is in a precarious position.
If Rick Nash were to go down with a such an injury, the Rangers would be losing a major asset to obtain a 1st round pick in this year’s draft. Let’s face it, once that passes he’s a UFA and can be had for free.
Dangerous times indeed.
Another problem that is connected to the potential for injuries is the head coach. Vigneault just said this prior to tonight’s game:
“I will tell you what I told my GM and President and Owner, I am going to try and win every game and that is what we have to do as a group. I believe that we are a goaltender being a roll to being back in the hunt, back into the playoffs.”
After the President and GM raised the white flag of surrender on the year, this is the last thing I want to hear. And no…this isn’t lip service from a dead man walking, this is what he believes.
Instead of minimizing minutes for the players mentioned above, I bet he rides Rick Nash into the ground. The problem with that is when players have almost nothing to play for, they tend to let their mind wander and become more prone to injury.
For everyone’s sake, let’s keep our fingers crossed that no one gets hurt.
Were the Rangers Informed Weeks Ago About the Rebuild?
AV also revealed this little tidbit in the presser:
“There is no doubt that when this story broke a couple of weeks ago that the mindset in the dressing room has been a little challenging, with what happened yesterday might be a little challenging but it’s our job as coaches to keep our guys focused on the process and hockey and that is what we are going to do.”
What story? The rebuild wasn’t officially announced until yesterday, and the unofficial signal came on Monday, when Nash’s list was requested. So did AV just let the cat out of the bag? Did Jeff Gorton and Glen Sather tell the locker room that they were going to rebuild? If so, it could explain why the Rangers have been playing so horribly lately.