Luckily for the New York Rangers, the injury bug has been kind to them as of late. However, all star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist still remains sidelined with a sprained blood vessel suffered back on January 31 in a game agains the Hurricanes. The other Ranger who remains out with an injury is rookie Jesper Fast. He has a sprained knee which was endured in a game against Nashville on February 7.
The team has been playing well since Henrik has been out, but Cam Talbot has been shaky in net. He has definitely learned that being an everyday goaltender in the National Hockey League is not something to be taken lightly, and has let in twenty nine goals since coming in to relieve Lundqvist, even though he is still 6-1-2.
As of this morning, Henrik Lundqvist is making great strides in his recovery. He took part in a forty five minute practice with the goaltending coach prior to the morning skate. He is trying to maintain his conditioning so he can game ready when he is able to return. Lundqvist has also been taking some light, low shots (pad level) to regain his quickness in net. He has yet to revisit the doctor in order to determine a date of return, but he is definitely improving greatly with each day. This season, Hank is 25-11 with five shutouts and a save percentage of .922 %.
On the other hand, winger Jesper Fast is very close to returning to the lineup. Yesterday and today, he took part the morning skate with a non-contact jersey. The Rangers could definitely use his spunk back in the lineup and as soon as he is ready, head coach Alain Vigneault should insert him back in. Fast has three goals and six assists in thirty seven games this season.
The Blueshirts are already a very dangerous and getting both players back will make them even more lethal, especially in the home stretch of the season. The Rangers are just two points out of first place in the Metropolitan Division with three games in hand. It is going to be an exciting ride to the finish.