Derek Dorsett hasn’t suited up for the New York Rangers since January 3. He broke his tibia against the Pittsburgh Penguins during that contest, and was able to take part in full-contact drills for the first time earlier this week. While the gritty forward could play when the Rangers square off with the Chicago Blackhawks later on this evening, head coach Alain Vigneault doesn’t think it’d be the right move from a roster standpoint.
He spoke to Andrew Goss of NorthJersey.com, and explained the reasoning behind holding Dorsett back for another day or two:
The fact that Dorse has been away for almost seven weeks now, this was his first full team practice with the full group I know he feels good I know he was a little bit disappointed this morning when I told him he wasn’t going to start tomorrow vs. Chicago. I just felt he needed another full team practice and starting against the defending Stanley Cup champions might not be a real simple and easy thing. I’m sure if I would have told him to play tomorrow he would have been OK. But considering the opponent, considering he’s been out seven full weeks and this was his first full team practice I thought it was smarter to wait.
That’s a pretty strong analysis of the situation from the head coach, and it’s impossible to argue with his reasoning for keeping the bottom-six forward out for this contest against the Blackhawks. Getting back into a game for the first time in seven weeks is tough enough as it is.
It’s even tougher when you’re skating against one of the best teams in the NHL.
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