We’ve all been asked the age-old question “Do you want the good news or the bad news first?” For Rangers fans, it’s “Do you want the bad news, the really bad news, or the depressing news?” The bad news is that Marc Staal is out indefinitely with a concussion. The really bad news is that Ryan Callahan will be out 4-6 weeks with a grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee. The depressing news is the Rangers have shown no spunk in their last two games, and Alain Vigneault has called his team out.
The Bad News
-You may be saying to yourself, “Hey, wouldn’t Marc Staal, a guy with a concussion history, suffering another concussion, be the really bad news?” Initially, yes, that would be the reaction. But according to Alain Vigneault on Tuesday (courtesy of the NY Daily News):
“Marc has been diagnosed with a concussion here. “We’ve been advised by our doctors that they don’t feel it’s as serious as what he might have had in the past, so he’s feeling better, and we’ll take it day-by-day.”
When someone is going to be out “indefinitely”, it has that ominous feel to it, but it sounds like he could be back sooner than later. Staal suffered the injury this past Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils from a clean Reid Boucher hit. The Rangers rearguard missed 36 games of the 2011-12 season after a concussion in February of 2011 (he played the rest of the 2010-11 season). The Blueshirts blueline is deep, but you never want to lose a guy like Staal. If the Michael Del Zotto trade rumors were true, I would imagine that any chance of moving him has been delayed by this.
The Really Bad News
-Rangers Captain Ryan Callahan left Tuesday night’s game against the Nashville Predators midway through the first period. Callahan will be out 4-6 weeks with a Grade-2 MCL sprain in his left knee. While the Rangers have had to play games without their captain this season, losing his on-ice work ethic is always a blow, especially considering the team lacks “jump and jam” (to use a Peter Laviolette term) at the moment (more on that later). Even when he is cleared to return, it’s going to take a little time for him to feel completely comfortable skating on that knee. This also jeopardizes his spot for Team USA in the Olympics. If he’s back on the earlier end of the 4-6 week window, that improves his chances.
The Depressing News
-John Tortorella never hid his disdain towards the press and he never offered up much in terms of a quote. Alain Vigneault is Larry King compared to Torts, and had this to say about the players-only meeting after Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Capitals:
“Without a doubt, our compete level is a .500 compete level. When the other team scores a goal, we don’t seem to have much of a push. You can talk all you want behind closed doors. It’s on the 200-by-85 rink that things are decided.”