With three consecutive losses and just two wins in their last 10 games (2-6-2), the New York Rangers are absolutely struggling.
There might be some light at the end of the tunnel, however, as Derek Stepan and Kevin Klein have taken a key step in returning from their respective injuries.
The New York Daily News notes that head coach Alain Vigneault said that Stepan and Klein began skating on their own late last week.
“What I’ve heard from back home is that they are both, Step and Kevin, skating at this time,” Vigneault said. “They started I want to say yesterday (Friday) or the day before (Thursday). What that means for timeframe I don’t know. I just think they’re skating on their own. Everything’s moving forward and we’ll know when we get back.”
The Daily News estimates that Stepan (broken ribs) will out “until after Christmas” while Klein (strained oblique) may return some time in the next 10 days. The team’s skid has more or less coincided with their injuries.
New York’s next game comes against the Edmonton Oilers at MSG on Tuesday.
Some listed Ryan Strome as a possible breakout candidate in 2015-16. Instead, his season’s been more of a breakdown.
The latest bump in the road came on Saturday, when Strome suffered an upper-body injury thanks to a hit by Andrew Bodnarchuk of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
You can watch the hit – which many believed warranted at least a major penalty – in the video above.
The New York Islanders didn’t provide an update regarding Strome’s condition after their 3-2 overtime win against Columbus, so you can probably consider him questionable for tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils.
It’s already been a turbulent campaign for the 22-year-old considering his AHL demotion, and now he’s injured. We’ll see if this is a minor issue or something that may plague him for some time.
Frightening scene out of Vancouver on Wednesday night, as Dan Hamhuis was helped off the ice after getting in the face by a hard Dan Boyle shot.
You can watch the unsettling moment in the video above.
Details are a little scarce at the moment, although it sounds like Hamhuis was eventually hospitalized:
It may be a broken jaw:
The Vancouver Canucks beat the New York Rangers 2-1 tonight.
On a night where the Pittsburgh Penguins had No. 9 on their minds, No. 19 sure put on a show.
Beau Bennett helped the Penguins put together a fantastic third-period turnaround, eventually beating the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 4-2.
Much like Boston’s comeback against Montreal, it was a dramatic turnaround. The Avalanche were up 2-1, yet Pittsburgh scored three goals in less than four minutes to run away with the contest.
Bennett’s 4-2 goal may have been the most prominent showing of increased confidence:
It was a special night for a first-rounder who’s development has been bumpy, to say the least.
With Daniel Sprong being the topic of much conversation – and consternation – around Pittsburgh, it was other Penguins youngsters who made the biggest difference.
Olli Maatta continues to show the sort of promise that’s been all-too-rare at times this season, grabbing two helpers in this one.
Is everything perfect in Pittsburgh? Not really … in fact, Bennett seemed to get shaken up late in the contest, keeping with what feels like a “one step forward, two steps backward” pattern.
Still, wins heal a lot, and the Penguins have an opportunity to start piling them up with five of their next six games coming at home.
Certain numbers indicate that the Edmonton Oilers are better than they’ve seemed, but now much simpler ones are starting to look a lot more promising.
The Oilers gained a measure of revenge for head coach Todd McLellan, as Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl powered a 4-3 overtime win against the San Jose Sharks (aka the team that fired McLellan).
Hall and Draisaitl continue to be the lifeblood of the Oilers offense, really carrying the load especially – but not exclusively – once Connor McDavid suffered his very unlucky injury.
Could that win mean more than that, though?
The Oilers are now on a four-game winning streak to begin the month of December, making the most of a homestand that ends when they host the New York Rangers on Friday. This tweet might say the most, though:
In the age of “the charity point,” that potential gap is a little bigger than it may seem. And, yes, it must be mentioned that the Pacific Division is downright pitiful.
Still, the Oilers will take it, especially when you consider how many people dismissed their chances once they lost McDavid.
It was a rough night for the Sharks beyond the scoreboard, as Logan Couture may have gotten injured.