With the New York Rangers off to an 8-2 start, one would figure that all is good in their world, right?
Unfortunately for the team and their fans, that assumption would be wrong. On Friday, November 3rd, the club found out that they will be without not only their best defenseman but one of their best players, Adam Fox, for the next few weeks.
Fox, 25, got hurt in his team’s 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night, November 2nd. He got hurt when he collided leg-on-leg with Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho in the first period.
Related Article: NY Rangers 11/2 Recap – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (Injuries)
After the game, Rangers head Peter Laviolette said that he did not like the hit. In watching the NHL Network this afternoon, analyst Mike Johnson said that an interference or tripping penalty should be called, but that is neither here nor there right now.
What is concerning is that The Rangers put Fox on long-term injured reserve. This means that the team will be without his services for at least the next 10 games and 24 days, which could end up hurting this hot Rangers club in a couple of ways.
For starters, they will miss his offense. Fox is currently (Friday night, November 3rd) second on the team in scoring with 11 points on three goals and eight assists.
Speaking of not having Fox’s offense, they will miss his contributions on the power play. He currently has nine points (3 goals and six assists) with the man advantage and is instrumental in being the team’s quarterback in that situation, as all plays with the man advantage begin with him having the puck.
Fox was also playing well defensively. He was breaking up a lot of plays, blocking shots, being smart with the puck in his own, and logging a lot of minutes every night as he was averaging 21:03 minutes of ice time per game.
For the Rangers, this means that someone is going to need to step up and chip in some points from the backend. It does not have to be at Fox’s level, but one of the team’s defensemen should be able to step in and contribute offensively.
The obvious choice would be K’Andre Miller. Miller, 23, has great offensive instincts, is not afraid to join the rush, and, if given a real chance to do so, could end up being lethal on the team’s power play.
Miller already has seven points (one goal and six assists) to start the season and is also a +/- + 7, which means that he is also playing well in his own end. Again, he does not need to be at Fox’s level of play, but if he can come close, the team’s power play should not skip a beat, and the team could survive for a bit without Fox’s offense.
This is the first bit of adversity that the Rangers have faced this season. Losing a player of Fox’s magnitude to injury is definitely going to impact the club.
With that said, the team and their other defensemen have a real chance here to step up, fill the void, and show both their head coach and their fans that nothing can slow them down this season.