Three things the New York Rangers will want as presents for Christmas

Dec 12, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) reacts
Dec 12, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) reacts / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Stay healthy

Part of what makes the Rangers early season success so impressive is what they have been missing during their victories. Several key members of the roster have missed significant game time already this season. I mentioned Igor Shesterkin missed a handful of games, but Adam Fox also missed 10 after he suffered a knee injury in that same game against the Carolina Hurricanes when he collided with Sebastian Aho.

Filip Chytil was also injured in that game when he tried to lay a hit on former Ranger Jesper Fast, but ended up getting the worst of it. He's been out since with an upper-body injury that is suspected to be a concussion. Whether or not that is true, he's only played 10 games this season and he still sits on the long-term injured reserve or LTIR. He's skated a few times, but there are conversations regarding his ability to return at all this year, which is concerning in its own right.

Kaapo Kakko suffered a lower body injury when he collided awkwardly with the end boards. He had to be helped off the ice, and he was also placed on LTIR. He is expected to return before the conclusion of the regular season, but it again shows you that four key members of this roster have missed significant time already this season, and the Rangers have managed to find success regardless of their absentees.

When you then factor in other players missing games like K'Andre Miller, Barclay Goodrow, Jonathan Quick, Jimmy Vesey and Nick Bonino, the sheer number of man games lost is starting to build. If the Rangers can find a way to keep the players on the ice, they will have a shot at winning trophies and titles in both the regular season and in the playoffs. But they need to stay on the ice because the parade to the infirmary will be their demise.