We are not even halfway through the preseason, and the New York Rangers have already endured several nagging injuries to key players. Filip Chytil, Artemi Panarin, and Mika Zibanejad all have to step away from the practice facility as they look for treatment for injuries sustained in the preseason. The two best forwards on the team and one of the brightest young talents on the forward core have all endured it.
After a season in which the New York Rangers sustained the fewest man-games lost of any team in the NHL, this sudden trend could be concerning. Under a new coach who demands a lot physically from his players, this might be a sign of what is to come. Injury troubles seemingly follow Laviolette wherever he goes. If this becomes a theme for a team that doesn’t have the cap space to add depth in the case of long-term injuries, it could be problematic.
Now, the relief is that all three of the players I mentioned earlier are just day-to-day with their problems and should all be ready to go when we get to opening night. If they were out for longer than that, there would already be some panic in the fanbase, but with all three guys just nursing their bumps and bruises as we start to get towards the start of the 2023-24 NHL season.
As long as the injuries are something that can be addressed day by day, it’s okay. But there is going to be concern from all corners of the fan base if it starts to escalate or if someone like Igor Shesterkin or Adam Fox finds themselves hurt, it could impact the Rangers season quickly and drastically. Laviolette demands a lot from his players, and that’s good, but there has to be a limit before he drives them over the edge.