The New York Rangers are the latest NHL team to have taken a bite out of the injury apple. Unfortunately, this injury, however, a bit more cringe-worthy.
The Rangers hosted the Florida Panthers Sunday evening at Madison Square Garden. New York would blow a 2-1 lead in the third period and ultimately lose in a shootout, but this was not their biggest loss of the night.
During the overtime period, Mika Zibanejad fall awkwardly into the boards behind the Rangers net, resulting in a broken fibula in his left leg. Zibanejad is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
Zibanejad, 23, was acquired by the team during the summer from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Derek Brassard. Zibanejad was drafted sixth overall in 2011 by Ottawa.
To fill the void left by Zibanejad, the Rangers have claimed forward Matt Puempel off of waivers from Ottawa.
Puempel, also drafted in 2011 by the Senators (24th overall), saw success with his junior team but so far has been unable to replicate his AHL success in the NHL. In 52 games with the Senators, he has registered four goals and just two assists.
The Rangers are off to a very hot start, and have been scoring goals. Lots of them. How deeply will this effect the teams midseason run towards the playoff race? Broadway’s hockey team is deep enough. As young upcoming talent from Chris Krieder, J.T. Miller, rookie Jimmy Vesey and what New York fans hope is the resurgence of former first overall pick Rick Nash, could all step up to the plate.