The New York Rangers were on the losing end of a 3-2 decision to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night, and they also lost one of their defenseman to injury.
Veteran Dan Girardi had to exit the game in the second period and did not return. After the game Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said that Girardi is dealing with a hip flexor. Vigneault said the team will know about the severity of the injury on Sunday, but at this point he should be expected to be more than “day-to-day” in terms of recovery.
Girardi has come under fire in New York in recent years for his declining play, but the Rangers seemed confident coming into the season that a lot of his struggles last year were injury related.
Girardi, 32, been extremely durable during his career and has missed only 13 games since the start of the 2007-08 season. Eight of those games came a year ago due to a knee injury.
That durability also means he has played a lot of hard, physical minutes during his career, and it could be starting to take its toll. In an era where defense is now more about speed, puck retrieval and puck movement Girardi is kind of a throwback in terms of his playing style.
Once a strength of the roster, the Rangers’ defense is now probably the biggest question mark they have this season due in large part to the decline of players like Girardi.