Rangers, Adam Fox not concerned with injured defense ahead of Sunday battle

Rangers without Ryan Lindgren
New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox, right, celebrates with defenseman Ryan Lindgren (55) after scoring on Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta in the first period of Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
AP Photos

The New York Rangers had their three-game losing streak snapped on Thursday night, but the aftermath of the game was even more disheartening. 

New York saw top defenseman Ryan Lindgren exit in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return. After a day off Friday, Lindgren did not skate in Saturday practice either with the team. 

The 24-year-old is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against Detroit. 

Lindgren’s injury is a microcosm of what has been a frustrating start to the season for the Rangers. They’ve had multiple key pieces to the roster battle injuries, and the loss of Lindgren means the team will need to change their defensive pairings ahead of their next game. 

Adam Fox, Lindgren’s defensive partner, wasn’t too concerned with the issues that could be brought up by playing with a new linemate. 

“Whoever I’m with, I’ll feel pretty comfortable with…communication is important for that, so obviously a little familiar with most of the guys we have back there,” Fox told AMNY Saturday. 

Lindgren and Fox have played together for the Rangers since 2019. During that time, Fox won the Norris trophy during that span while New York has been to the Eastern Conference Finals during that time as well. 

The relationship between the two is difficult to simply emulate with any other pairing. 

“Obviously me and Lindy played together awhile but you can’t change the way you play too much. Just a lot of talk with whoever you’re playing with.” Fox added. 

Without Lindgren, and for a significant time Braden Schneider, the Rangers’ defense was blitzed Thursday in the final period against Boston to a 5-2 final. Fox acknowledged that the loss of both was important to the team’s defensive breakdowns in the final period. 

The loss of Lindgren means that Fox could potentially be paired with Jacob Trouba or K’Ande Miller on Sunday. While Miller worked with Fox during Saturday’s practice, head coach Gerard Gallant remained steadfast that no decision was made yet about who would replace Lindgren’s spot. 

“It’s not like K’Andre and Troubs were second fiddles to those guys. They are a big part of our group. I put those four on against anyone else’s four.” Gallant said to reporters.

Even with the injury to Lindgren, Gallant looked more on the positive side of having different defensive players working together and getting more comfortable. 

“I don’t want to see Lindy get hurt but I don’t think it hurts. They get a little stale at times and you want to shake them up a little bit.”

The Rangers will need to show they can win without one of their top defensemen on Sunday. A win not only keeps New York in the thick of the early race for the Metro division lead, but it can also give a lot of young players confidence against a good team in Detroit. Of course, it’s easier said than done without a top player.

For more New York Rangers news, turn to AMNY.com