Rangers Ruhwedel Pickup Looks Like Masterstroke After Lindgren Injury

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The New York Rangers notched another big win yesterday, 5-2, over their crosstown rivals, the New York Islanders. But the win came with a cost. Ryan Lindgren was hurt late in the second period, falling awkwardly to the ice after a collision with Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Lindgren had to be helped off the ice and did not return to the contest, which the Rangers dominated.

After the game, coach Peter Laviolette said only that Lindgren was being evaluated. While the injury wasn’t as bad as expected, former Pittsburgh Penguin Chad Ruhwedel will likely make his Ranger debut on Tuesday night as the Rangers try for a third straight win against the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden. The defense for the Rangers has been better since the meltdown in the second half of last Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, albeit against lesser competition.

Ranger fans hope that Ruhwedel, known in Pittsburgh as an extremely responsible defenseman, slides right into the rotation, which is also missing captain Jacob Trouba for another week, at least. Ruhwedel, who has averaged just over 15:00 of ice time per game in his 359 games, is not much of an offensive threat, with just 1-3-4 this year in Pittsburgh, but his +/- of -4 stands out while playing for a Pittsburgh team that is not viewed as very strong defensively.

It will be interesting, and perhaps telling, where Ruhwedel slots in with the Rangers. He could simply replace Lindgren and play with Adam Fox, who has always paired well with a stay-at-home defenseman like Lindgren or Ruhwedel. Or coach Peter Laviolette could opt for a “next man up” mentality, slotting Ruhwedel in on the third pair with Zac Jones and moving others up the lineup.

Regardless of what Laviolette decides, it is clear that Chris Drury’s trade for Ruhwedel in an often-overlooked move at the trade deadline, begins paying dividends now. Sometimes it is the small trade deadline moves that add the most value for teams in their pursuit of playoff success. For a Ranger team that is on a roll, having an accomplished, responsible, minute-eating defenseman to add to the lineup while some of the regulars recover from injury seems like lemonade from the lemons of injuries to two key defensemen during a stretch run.

When factoring in the strong play of Zac Jones until the Trouba injury, the team’s 7th defenseman, and rookie Matt Rempe, who returns Tuesday after a 4 game suspension, the Rangers look to be as deep a team as they have been over the past few seasons. With the Carolina Hurricanes breathing down their neck for the top spot in the Metro and a long playoff slog ahead of them regardless of where they finish, they will need to maximize the returns on trade deadline assets they acquired. So far, so good. Now Ruhwedel gets his chance to show that Chris Drury made the right moves. Doing so would give the Rangers a ton of confidence as the calendar flips to Spring and the stakes are raised.

Guest Jack : Playoffs on the Horizon Ranting Rangers: A New York Rangers Podcast

In this weeks episode Jack comes on to breakdown this Rangers team, with the playoffs being less then 2 weeks away.For more from us, visit Inside The RinkHow to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITRThanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Guest Jack : Playoffs on the Horizon
  2. All Time High Vibes
  3. Guest Josh Khalfin
  4. The Encouraging but Injury Concerning Backend
  5. Guest Tyler McGillick

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