Depleted Rangers Need All Hands on Deck in Colorado

The Rangers are in Denver this afternoon to take on the red-hot Colorado Avalanche who are looking to extend their own good play.

[Watch Rangers-Avalanche on MSG & MSG Go. Download Free]

The Blueshirts have won two consecutive tilts and are coming off a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. The Avalanche are unbeaten in their last eight contests and are looking to make it nine in a row, something the franchise has not accomplished since October, 2000. This is the second and final meeting of the regular season between the clubs, where Colorado beat the Rangers on opening night of the season at MSG, 3-2.

Kevin Shattenkirk discloses his meniscus tear, what his plan is for the remainder of the season and why he chose to have the surgery now.

On the injury front the hits just keep on coming for the Rangers. Kevin Shattenkirk will join a list of wounded that already includes Marc Staal, Kevin Hayes and Chris Krieder. Shattenkirk will undergo knee surgery Monday and is out for an indefinite period of time, although the injury is not expected to end the defenseman’s season. There is a chance that Staal and Hayes may return tomorrow night when the team plays Los Angeles.

It sounds as though the injury to Shattenkirk has been lingering since September, only to get progressively worse as the season moved along. This would certainly go a long way in explaining the New Rochelle native’s lack of mobility in his first forty- six games on Broadway. Various treatments were utilized in an attempt to muscle through but despite the grin-and-bear mentality, at the end of the day the injury was too debilitating to overcome.

Playing through pain is something every player deals with over the course of a season. While it was admirable that Kevin tried to persevere, his play was compromised and he will be a better Ranger when he returns with two good legs to compete on.

Alain Vigneault addresses the media on Kevin Shattenkirk's torn meniscus, recalling Anthony DeAngelo and how injuries are just a part of the NHL.

Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon is second in the NHL in scoring with 57 points and is riding an eight-game point streak, having accumulated seven goals and 10 assists. The top pick in the 2013 amateur draft and the 2013-14 rookie of the year looks to be playing as the elite player that he was expected to be.

His game is one of power, speed and instinct. An Avalanche franchise that was dead-last in league standings a year ago are legitimately in the playoff hunt as a result of MacKinnon’s dominant play.

[According to Carp: Banged-Up Rangers Suffer Injury Blow to Shattenkirk]

KEYS

1. North-South

The Avalanche are yet another team that will put you quickly on the ropes if you do not move things in a North-South manner. Keep it clean and simple by playing the game this way as opposed to East-West, particularly at both bluelines.

2. Defend as 5

The roster is somewhat compromised this afternoon with injuries to key people. It will be necessary that there be an all-hands-on-deck mentality in the defensive zone.

3. 61-93-89

The threesome of Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich have carried the club offensively the last two games. The injury riddled lineup will need its’ top line to stay hot.

[Watch Rangers-Avalanche on MSG & MSG Go. Download Free]

The Garden of Dreams Foundation helps kids facing obstacles in the Tri-State area, including Rangers fan Taylor Ryan who is battling a rare blood disorder called Langerhans cell histiocytosis.