Injuries are bound to happen at this point in an NHL season, especially considering this is the first 82-game tally in two years.
Players haven’t survived the grind of an entire season since 2018/19, and some never did before. Traveling throughout the season is also taking its toll, which wasn’t a problem last year with divisional realignments that minimized travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Rangers had to deal with this transition like any other NHL team.
However, with four games remaining in the regular season, Rangers have been bitten by the injury virus.
Andrew Copp (lower body) and Filip Chytil (upper body) did not attend the Rangers’ optional practice session at the MSG Training Center in Tarrytown on Friday. Both forwards sustained injuries in Thursday’s 6-3 win over the Islanders. Both are considered daily and will not play against the Bruins on Saturday, but head coach Gerard Gallant insinuated neither was in a serious condition.
“I’m not a doctor,” he said. “I don’t want to rush things and put pressure on the players. But I was told day after day, not serious. So we’ll see what that means.”
The injuries are just the latest for the Rangers, who are also without Kaapo Kakko (lower body) and Tyler Motte (upper body). Kakko, who was injured just four games after a more than 10-week absence from a suspected wrist injury, skated on his own Friday and is on track to return to Rangers in time for the playoffs.
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Gallant has also said Kakko should be able to play in a few games before the playoffs roll around in May.
After the Canucks shipped him to New York for the trade deadline, Motte was sidelined in nine games with the Rangers before the pending unrestricted free agent hit high on April 7 in the Blueshirts’ 3-0 win over Penguins’ Anthony Angello scored Gallant has ruled out Motte for the remainder of the regular season, but the fact that Rangers rated his injury as “significant” doesn’t bode well for a playoff return.
“You kept your fingers crossed every game,” Gallant said of injuries this season. “That’s what coaches do. But they will happen. You’re hoping it’s minor injuries, you’re hoping all the time. You have to play the game. It’s a fine line getting out there.
“I liked how we played the last four or five games. They don’t look like really important games in the table, but you have to keep playing. You can’t turn it off and on. If you have a bad game one night, you have to hit back and play well.”
So Rangers will need to delve further into their depths to pad out Saturday’s lineup. The top options for Copp and Chytil are Jonny Brodzinski, who has been a healthy scratch in the last six games, and Greg McKegg, who has not played since April 1. Julien Gauthier is also an option, particularly as a right winger, but he has only featured in one competition since March 15.
“You can’t play soft because you don’t want to hurt yourself,” Ryan Reaves said. “I have a feeling if you do this you will get hurt. Injuries happen, hopefully they’re not too bad. But we have a lot of bodies here that will jump in and play well.”
https://nypost.com/2022/04/22/rangers-andrew-copp-filip-chytil-injuries-not-serious/ Rangers injuries Andrew Copp and Filip Chytil ‘not serious’