If speed kills in the NHL, then the New York Rangers just got a bit more deadly. Carl Hagelin is set to return tonight when the Blueshirts take on the New York Islanders tonight, as he makes his regular season debut after missing the first 10 games of the year with a shoulder injury.
#NYR Carl Hagelin no longer listed as IR on team’s roster on official website. Assume that to mean he’s activated and will play tonight
— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) October 29, 2013
While Hagelin shouldn’t be expected to step in and save the Rangers all by himself, he is something that New York is badly missing right now—he’s a top-six forward and is capable of scoring goals at the NHL level. With Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan still on the IR, the rocket-fast winger will be looked upon as one of the more talented scoring threats on a Rangers team that badly needs to pull out a W against the Isles.
The Islanders will be getting a boost of their own in Thomas Vanek. The recently-acquired forward will make his debut tonight, and the team will likely be pretty fired up with the new addition in the lineup. How the Rangers push back could be the deciding factor in the contest.
With John Tortorella out of town, Hagelin is viewed as one of the players that has the most to gain under a (supposedly) more free-wheeling system under Alain Vigneault. The Rangers haven’t scored more than three goals in a game yet this season, and need all hands on deck up front to change that awful trend.