Injuries put Rangers' playoff hopes in doubt

Avery3.jpgThe New York Rangers are headed into a big game Tuesday,
and they could be as much as six points behind 8th place Boston.
Unfortunately, they’ll likely be without Ryan Callahan and Sean Avery
who were both injured in the past week. From
Larry Brooks of the New York Post:

“Sean has been
playing his best hockey of the year,” coach John
Tortorella said following the 3-2 OT defeat to the Maple Leafs. “It’s a
tough break, not only for him, but more importantly for the hockey
club.”

Both Callahan and Avery are unsure about
their status for tomorrow night’s game against the Islanders, but both
have been essential to the energy level and the forecheck the Rangers
need to be successful. That is, when they’ve actually been able to show
up and play an energetic game. Without Avery and Callahan, it’s likely
their playoff chances dwindle significantly.

It’s also important
to note that both injuries occurred when Callahan and Avery — in
separate incidents — were chasing down pucks to beat an icing call.

At
some point, the NHL will realize that the icing rules need to be
changed. If the league is so set on protecting the players and promoting
safety, perhaps all out races for the pucks down the length of the ice
and into the boards isn’t exactly what the NHL needs.

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    CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced Sunday.

    The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

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    Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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    ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

    The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

    The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

    Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

    The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

    Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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    TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

    The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

    “This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

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    Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

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    TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

    The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

    “Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

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