The New York Rangers have had an up and down start for the first six weeks of the 2017-18 season, but they have been fortunate that many of their players have remained healthy. Unfortunately, head coach Alain Vigneault made the announcement that captain and defenseman Ryan McDonagh would be out for the team Wednesday night with an abdominal strain.
The team is set to play the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night in Raleigh on a short one-game road trip, but they will be without one of their top men and leaders. It was unclear as to when the injury happened and if McDonagh will be out long term. Because of this unfortunate news, Steven Kampfer is set to take McDonagh’s place on defense.
Coming off a shutout victory over the Ottawa Senators, the boys in blueshirts want to keep the same mentality on Wednesday night as they did on Sunday night. Defenseman Brady Skjei told reporters following Tuesday’s practice, “Still trying to get pucks to the net and keep some bodies in front.”
After a 20-save performance on Sunday, Henrik Lundqvist will get the start once again. With McDonagh out, the new defensive pairings are: Skjei with Kevin Shattenkirk, Brendan Smith with Nick Holden, and Marc Staal with Kampfer. Hopefully, the Rangers won’t be without their captain for long and they can get a much needed win for him on Wednesday night.