The Rangers still have a long way to go until Adam Fox is eligible to come off long-term injured reserve, but the club’s No. 1 defenseman is making progress.
Fox has resumed skating roughly two weeks after the 25-year-old landed on long-term injured reserve following a knee-on-knee collision with Carolina forward Sebastian Aho.
The 2021 Norris Trophy winner missed his fifth straight game as the Rangers beat the Devils 5-3 on Saturday night, but the earliest Fox can return to the lineup is Nov. 29 against the Red Wings.
It’s unclear if Fox’s timeline coincides with when he fulfills his LTIR game quota.
The fact that he’s resumed skating, however, should bode well for his return to fall somewhere around when he’s eligible.
The positive update on Fox only creates more growing concern for Filip Chytil, who has been on injured reserve over the same span that Fox has been on LTIR and has yet to resume skating.
Considering how many injuries and concussions Chytil has had over the course of his career, the longer the Czech center stays away from the ice, the more questions surrounding his long-term durability arise.
Chytil was eligible to come off IR on Sunday against the Blue Jackets.
It’s never a good time to get injured, but Chytil always seems to get ripped away from the ice at the worst times.
Chytil earned the second-line center job out of training camp and found himself on the Rangers’ most active and effective offensive line with Artemi Panarin and Alexis Lafreniere.
The trio was just beginning to develop some real chemistry when Chytil was sidelined.
As a result, Chytil was replaced by Vincent Trocheck.
Fortunately for the Rangers, the line hasn’t skipped a beat since the trade off in the middle.
Though Chytil might find himself in a different role upon his return to the lineup if the Rangers continue to trend in the direction that they are.
Igor Shesterkin, who returned to game action Saturday night, had 30 saves on 33 shots in the win over the Devils, marking his first start in over two weeks because of a lingering undisclosed issue.
Jonathan Quick returned to his usual post as backup.
Saturday was the first game the Rangers have had both of their top goalies available since Nov. 2 against the Hurricanes. Shesterkin was said to be “banged up” after the 2-1 victory over Carolina, in which the Rangers also lost Fox and Chytil.
The Rangers deployed the same lines and defense pairs for a fourth straight game, with Blake Wheeler skating on the top line alongside Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad.
Connor Mackey, who was recalled late on Friday, was a healthy scratch for the fifth game in a row.
Head coach Peter Laviolette noted that carrying Mackey is a precautionary thing to ensure the Rangers have enough players.
The Rangers are scheduled to have an optional practice on Sunday in Tarrytown before they depart for Dallas. After facing the Stars on Monday night, the Blueshirts will head to Pittsburgh to play the Penguins on Wednesday.