Following a major hit and subsequent impact along the boards with his head from Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf Monday night, defenseman Michael Sauer suffered a concussion as per Andrew Gross and is listed as day-to-day. Anton Stralman will play against the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night in just his second game with the Rangers.
Losing Sauer is a huge blow to a Rangers defense already without their best defender in Marc Staal but leading the NHL is fewest goals against (53). Sauer’s steadiness and poise will be sorely missed as his replacement Anton Stralman isn’t quite the defensive stalwart.
The defensive pairings will change as Jim Cerny reports Steve Eminger would be comfortable playing along side Michael Del Zotto – who also dodged major injury after his own impact against boards following a rush to negate an icing Monday – leaving Stralman to play with Jeff Woywitka.
It’s a scary, vulnerable time for the Rangers. But, injuries are part of the game. I hope Dan Girardi/Ryan McDonagh can handle 40 minutes of ice time a night.