Mats Zuccarello couldn’t play in Norway’s 4-0 loss to Russia due to a hand injury. With that game ending his nation’s Olympic run, the question now is if he’ll be available when the New York Rangers resume their schedule on Feb. 27.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, they are still in the dark. They don’t know the extent of Zuccarello’s injury and that probably won’t change until the team starts practicing again on Thursday, according to the Bergen Record
If Zuccarello’s injury proves to be serious, it will have a significant impact on the Rangers’ plans going forward. He’s been a pleasant surprise this season with 15 goals and a team-leading 43 points in 58 games.
The team can’t really afford to lose the offense he’s been providing while they’re still competing for one of the fiercely contested playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Consequently, Rangers GM Glen Sather might be motivated to acquire a top-six forward before the trade deadline if they will be without Zuccarello for an extended period of time.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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