As if giving the Toronto Maple Leafs their fourth consecutive win to start the season wasn't bad enough, the New York Rangers watched in horror as two of the most significant components of their team left the game with injury.
After missing much of preseason and the first few games of the regular season with a broken finger, Rangers captain Chris Drury broke the same finger in a different location on Friday night, resulting in what will likely be an extended stay on the injured reserve. Initial estimates suggest that Drury could miss as many as six weeks recovering from the set back.
Though his offensive production has dipped in recent years, his leadership on and off the ice has always been valuable for a Rangers team that just barely missed the post-season in 2009-10.
The team will also struggle to cope with the loss of the offensive output produced by Marian Gaborik, who was rushed into the boards by Toronto's Colby Armstrong. Gaborik separated his left shoulder on the play and is expected to miss two to three weeks.
For a player with such an injury-ridden past, such an avoidable incident is tough to watch. It also throws another wrenchin the winger's plans to top the 80-point mark for the second year in a row.
With just 50/1 odds of winning the Stanley Cup, according to the Bodog Sportsbook, the Rangers are far from playoff locks, but the fact that they came so close last year combined with the development of their young core indicates that this may be their year.
But unfortunately for New York, if one thing is certain, it's that their chances of getting there are significantly improved with Drury and Gaborik in the line up. Here's hoping they make a quick and easy recovery.
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