Kakko injury update and Gallant on resting players

Jan 13, 2022; San Jose, California, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) during the first period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 13, 2022; San Jose, California, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) during the first period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /
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After practice, New York Rangers coach Gerard Gallant gave a hopeful update for Kaapo Kakko who suffered a leg in jury in the win over the Detroit Red Wings.  Gallant said that he will be out for a  while, but he hopes to get him back before the playoffs.

Gallant was pretty positive saying “It’s not longterm, we fully expect him to be back, hopefully, possibly play maybe two or three of the last games, but he’s back for playoffs.”   Note that he went from “fully” to “hopefully” to “possibly” in the same sentence.

Gallant said that Kakko is obviously very frustrated by the injuries he has suffered.  “Kaapo was playing real well, he just got back from missing eight weeks. I think he had three or four games and in his last game he had two goals, so it’s definitely disappointing for him.”  He said Kakko needs a “quick little rehab and to get back at it.  Think positive and good things will happen for him.”

About Andrew Copp

What that mean is Andrew Copp will be on the right side of Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin for the near future.  “When we got him, people probably looked at him as a real good third line player…I just like the way he skates, goes to the net and opens up some space for those guys.”

Copp spoke after practice and spoke about the line. “We’ve had some good games, I think we still can play  a lot better.  We can play with more speed, get out of our D-zone a little quicker than we have been…and finish on our chances a couple times. We’re still trying to figure it out. Obviously some early success gives us confidence, but there’s always more plays to be made…there’s always room for improvement.”

Of course, Tuesday Copp will be playing against the Winnipeg Jets for the first time after spending seven year with the team.

About resting players

Gallant was asked about resting players and he basically said that unless a player asks for a rest, the regulars will be playing.  He said he doesn’t ask players if they need a break, it has to come from the training staff or the players themselves.  He said that records are not an issue for him, knowing that Kreider is looking to set a franchise record for goals.

Then again, he also jokingly said that if Alexis Lafrenière scores two goals every time he gets a day off, he may want a few more breaks.  Gallant spoke about the his second goal, calling it a “pretty goal” with the result that it will just give a young player more confidence moving forward.

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