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Injuries put Rangers’ playoff hopes in doubt

Avery3.jpgThe New York Rangers are headed into a big game Tuesday, and they could be as much as six points behind 8th place Boston. Unfortunately, they’ll likely be without Ryan Callahan and Sean Avery who were both injured in the past week. From Larry Brooks of the New York Post:

“Sean has been playing his best hockey of the year,” coach John Tortorella said following the 3-2 OT defeat to the Maple Leafs. “It’s a tough break, not only for him, but more importantly for the hockey club.”

Both Callahan and Avery are unsure about their status for tomorrow night’s game against the Islanders, but both have been essential to the energy level and the forecheck the Rangers need to be successful. That is, when they’ve actually been able to show up and play an energetic game. Without Avery and Callahan, it’s likely their playoff chances dwindle significantly.

It’s also important to note that both injuries occurred when Callahan and Avery -- in separate incidents -- were chasing down pucks to beat an icing call.

At some point, the NHL will realize that the icing rules need to be changed. If the league is so set on protecting the players and promoting safety, perhaps all out races for the pucks down the length of the ice and into the boards isn’t exactly what the NHL needs.