Alain Vigneault reported today that there’s a 50/50 chance Ryan McDonagh, who skated during this morning’s optional practice for the first time since injuring his shoulder in Vancouver last Tuesday, will participate in a game before the postseason begins next week.
Vigneault did leave open the possibility of McDonagh practicing in full with the team tomorrow.
…obviously, if McDonagh isn’t ready to go the smart move to to keep him out, but I’d love to see him get at least one game under his belt before the postseason begins.
…although, McDonagh is Superman, so it probably doesn’t matter either way.
Also skating for the first time since being injured was Chris Kreider, who took shots with his right hand only this morning as he was wearing a black brace on his injured left hand.
Vigneault did not offer an update on Kreider’s status.
…i’d have to assume Kreider wouldn’t be back unless the Rangers made it to the Conference Finals as hand surgery usually takes 6-8 weeks to heal.
Meanwhile, AV confirmed that Jesper Fast will be inserted into the lineup on the third line with Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin, while Dan Carcillo will be a healthy scratch for tonight’s game against the Hurricanes.
The other lines will remain the same as yesterday’s practice meaning Martin St. Louis will skate with Derek Stepan and Rick Nash.
…maybe now that the Rangers have clinched a playoff berth, St. Louis will be able to relax and play his game. Not sure the Stepan/Nash line is the best spot for him, but never a bad idea to put your two super star players together.
…also hoping to see a much more confident Fast this time around. Seemed very hesitant and timid during his first go round with the Rangers earlier this season. If he can use his speed to drive to the net, he could have the same impact Kreider had in the playoffs two years ago.
Above pic of McDonagh and Kreider skating at practice this morning courtesy of Rangers Twitter account.