Rangers’ Kakko and Rooney’s return from IL remains unknown

The issue with the cryptic nature NHL groups undertake when addressing accidents is it turns into almost unimaginable to gauge how any single harm will have an effect on a group.

The timeline for the Rangers’ Kaapo Kakko, who has been on injured reserve and hasn’t performed since Jan. 21 due to an upper-body harm, has gone from “nothing severe,” to “day-to-day,” to “week-to-week,” to a different month after which to the hope he would return in early April. It’s seven days into the goal month and Kakko is not going to be within the lineup once more Thursday, for the Rangers’ ultimate regular-season matchup towards the Penguins.

An identical uncertainty exists for Kevin Rooney, who can also be on injured reserve with an upper-body harm and hasn’t performed since March 2. Head coach Gerard Gallant has stated the 2 forwards are skating on their very own, however evidently they’re not able to be full contributors in group apply.

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“They had been on the market, you simply weren’t on the market early sufficient,” Gallant quipped following apply on Wednesday. “No, they’re coming alongside, they’re coming. When the physician clears them 100%, they’ll be with us and that’s hopefully going to be quickly.”

Kaapo Kakko and Kevin Rooney
N.Y. Put up: Charles Wenzelberg; Corey Sipkin

Accidents could be unpredictable, and Gallant additionally clarified that there haven’t been any setbacks.

However the Rangers have needed to shift from determining how one can fill the holes left by Kakko and Rooney, to all of a sudden navigating how one can combine the 2 forwards again into the lineup earlier than the playoffs ought to they turn out to be out there. The window for line experimentation is restricted, and ideally, the Rangers, who may have 10 regular-season video games left after Thursday, wish to play as many as potential with a full lineup.

Gallant has stated he’s hopeful Kakko and Rooney will get to play earlier than the primary spherical of the playoffs start in Could, however that doesn’t imply it’s going to occur.

“They could play one, who is aware of?” he stated. “I’m not apprehensive about that. They’ve skated onerous, they’ve labored onerous for some time. Not a difficulty. After they’re prepared, they’re prepared.”

Ryan Lindgren and Mika Zibanejad each had upkeep days and didn’t take part in apply.

The Rangers’ lineup in apply seemed the identical because it did of their win over the Devils on Tuesday, other than Greg McKegg standing in for Zibanejad in the midst of the primary line.

Julien Gauthier rotated within the backside six, indicating he’ll be scratched for a second sport in a row and the eleventh time within the final 12 matchups.

Thursday would be the first of three straight house video games for the Rangers, who then will enterprise to Philadelphia on April 13 for the second evening of a back-to-back.

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