Tag: Dan Girardi

Derick Brassard

Report: Brassard should be ready for training camp after wrist surgery

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New York Rangers forward Derick Brassard underwent wrist surgery last week, leaving him with a four-to-six week window of recovery, according to sources including The Bergen Record.

That rehab estimate would indicate that the 27-year-old will be recovered by the time training camp kicks off sometime in September.

It’s unclear how long Brassard’s wrist was bothering him, but either way, he was quite productive last season.

During the regular season, he set new career-highs in goals (19), assists (41) and points (60). His postseason totals were also new high marks, as he managed 16 points in 19 contests.

As the Bergen Record notes, Brassard is one of quite a few Rangers who weren’t 100 percent during the final stretch.

It just gives a full picture of the Rangers’ medical issues during the postseason. Captain Ryan McDonagh was playing on a broken right foot, Dan Girardi underwent a bursa excision on his ankle and Marc Staal had a bone chip removed from his ankle. Plus, Keith Yandle continued playing after suffering a shoulder sprain in the first round.

The Rangers likely expect Brassard to match or exceed last season’s numbers, so it’s a positive that he probably won’t deal with lingering issues. That said, setbacks can happen; if so, it will be noted at PHT this summer.

There wasn’t always such an emphasis on shot-blocking

NHL: Blues v Blackhawks Game 3

CHICAGO — The day after it was reported that the NHL’s competition committee had discussed “disallowing certain shot-blocking techniques,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, a former NHL defenseman, was asked how the emphasis on shot-blocking has changed compared to when he was playing.

“I think the game has changed now,” said Quenneville. “There’s so many layers of guys in shooting lanes. There’s one, two and three guys sometimes you got to get the pucks through. I just think a lot of teams emphasize making sure shots don’t get through, and protecting the middle of the ice as well.”

It wasn’t always that way. The rise of shot-blocking has been linked to the NHL’s crackdown on obstruction that followed the 2004-05 lockout.

“You [keep] forwards from going to the net, and you’re called for interference,” Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara told Sports Illustrated in 2007. “And once the forwards get there, they’re basically screening your goalie. So now all that’s left for you is throwing yourself in front of shots.”

PHT reached out to former NHL forward Ray Ferraro to ask what it was like when he was in the league, from the mid-1980s until 2002.

“Shot-blocking was never really demanded from us. It wasn’t seen as a big deal,” Ferraro texted. “The focus was on keeping the lane clear for goalies to see the shot.”

More goals and fewer injuries are two reasons to try and think up ways to reduce the number of shots being blocked.

However, just because the topic was discussed by the competition committee doesn’t mean anything will be done about it, or should be done about it. After all, there’s something to be said for a player’s willingness to sacrifice his body for the good of the team.

“Some guys have more of an anticipation towards that, more willingness to do it,” said Quenneville. “There’s a bit of an art. There’s a little bit of pain that you gotta deal with as well. We may have one of the best ones in the game in [Niklas Hjalmarsson].”

Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi leads all players in blocked shots during the playoffs, with 65.

On the teams in the Stanley Cup Final, Hjalmarsson leads the Blackhawks with 51, while Victor Hedman has the most on the Lightning, with 39.

Related: Ducks dealing with shot-blocking conundrum

Rangers announce Staal, Girardi underwent successful ankle surgeries

New York Rangers v Vancouver Canucks

One-third of the New York Rangers defense went under the knife this week, as blueliners Marc Staal and Dan Girardi both had successful ankle surgeries.

Staal’s was to repair a hairline fracture and bone chip, while Girardi had a bursa excision to remove fluid. Both are expected to recover fully over the summer, and be ready for training camp in the fall.

Staal and Girardi weren’t the only two New York d-man playing hurt this postseason. Captain Ryan McDonagh suffered a broken foot in the Eastern Conference Final, Keith Yandle had a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and Kevin Klein missed the entire first round recovering from a broken arm during the regular season.

Up front, winger Mats Zuccarello suffered a skull fracture and brain contusion during the opening round against Pittsburgh, and missed the remainder of the playoffs.