The Rangers didn’t need any more bad news, given they’re off to a 2-5-0 start and already lost captain Ryan Callahan to injury.
But when it rains…
On Tuesday, the club announced that Henrik Lundqvist is “day-to-day” with a “minor issue” after the starting netminder missed his second straight day of practice.
Here’s more, from Newsday:
Ludnqvist was on ice [Tuesday] at the MSG Training Center for a few minutes before the team went on for pactice, wearing a t-shirt, shorts, socks and skates, and appeared to be testing his skates not far from the bench, while the Zamboni cleaned the ice.
This comes after Lundqvist was reportedly given Monday off as a “maintenance day,” according to a Rangers spokesman.
While this may amount to nothing — New York doesn’t play again until Thursday vs. Philadelphia — any potential injury to Lundqvist is newsworthy given the unstable nature of the team’s backup position.
Veteran Martin Biron announced his retirement just a few days after the club placed him on waivers and, upon clearing, assigned him to AHL Connecticut.
In Biron’s place, the Rangers are rolling with the duo of Cam Talbot and Jason Missiaen. Talbot backed up Lundqvist in a 2-0 win over the Capitals and Missiaen backed up for Saturday’s 4-0 loss to New Jersey.
Neither has any NHL experience.
As if Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final couldn’t get any more dramatic, it has — Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos, who hasn’t played since Mar. 31, will make his playoff debut against the Penguins tonight.
Stamkos underwent vascular surgery in early April to correct a blood clotting issue, and has remained on blood thinners ever since. While there’s been no confirmation he’s off medication, he did tell Sportsnet he’d be able to return to the lineup once he was.
Stamkos reiterated that he’s still on the same prescription of blood thinners he was given earlier this month. He takes a 12-hour dosage, twice a day, and it has been suggested to him that once he is cleared to stop taking the medication, Stamkos conceivably could return to the Lightning lineup almost immediately.
That’s why I’m trying to stay in shape,” he said.
Per NHL.com, Stamkos took the warmup and participated in line rushes centering Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan.
It’s been exactly eight weeks since Stamkos played his last game. At the time of his diagnosis, the Lightning said his timetable for recovery was 1-3 months.
To say his return will be a boost is a major understatement. Aside from the emotional factor, Stamkos led the Bolts in goals this year, with 36, and would presumably spark a power play that’s gone just 2-for-12 in the series.
Steve Stamkos took the team bus to tonight’s Eastern Conference Game 7 in Pittsburgh. As TVA noted, it was the first time he’s arrived early for a game in these playoffs.
In his pregame presser, Bolts head coach Jon Cooper refused to answer any questions about Stamkos’ availability.
And then Stamkos took the warmup.
As such, the drama surrounding Tampa Bay’s captain has reached an all-time high. Stamkos, who’s been out of the lineup since early April due to blood clots, looks as though he’s on the verge of an emotional comeback as the Lightning try to win an ECF Game 7 — on the road — for a second consecutive season.
“If Stamkos is in the lineup, it’s our best foot forward,” Cooper said. “If he’s not in the lineup, it’s because he wasn’t eligible to play.”
No word if No. 91 is still on the blood thinning medication he’s been taking since undergoing vascular surgery on Apr. 4.
EDINA, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise has been rehabilitating his back injury without surgery, putting him on track to be at full strength by September.
Parise said Thursday he’s “happy with the way everything’s going.” He said he’s been able to work out as he normally does during the summer, despite missing the playoffs because of the injury.
Parise said there’s “no question” he’ll be ready to play for Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey tournament.
Parise joined teammates Erik Haula, Jason Pominville, Nate Prosser, Jared Spurgeon and Jason Zucker at an autograph signing to raise money for people affected by the wildfires in Alberta. The parents of Spurgeon’s wife, Danielle, lost their home to a fire in the Edmonton area.