Fans of the New York Rangers were left holding their breath during the first period of their clash with the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.
Battling for a puck in the corner late in the frame, Mika Zibanejad — the team’s leader in points — took a heavy hit from Patrice Bergeron. As Bergeron got to the puck first, he levelled an unsuspecting Zibanejad during his approach and sent the 26-year-old sprawling to the ice.
Following the hit, Zibanejad was pretty shaken up and (understandably) slow to get back onto his skates.
Per Dan Rosen of NHL.com, Zibanejad played one more shift following the collision but did not return for the start of the second period. He missed the rest of the contest due to the upper-body injury, according to the New York Rangers’ official Twitter account.
While the severity of his situation is unknown at this time, head coach David Quinn confirmed after the Rangers’ 7-4 loss that Zibanejad did not suffer a concussion. However, the Swede potentially missing time as a result of the play is significant.
Nobody was hotter offensively to begin the 2019-20 season than Zibanejad. He scored four goals and collected eight points in his first two games before settling down a bit. Regardless, he still leads a team that has scored 25 goals in its first eight games with 11 points.
If Zibanejad ends up on the shelf, fantasy owners looking for an in-house solution may want to consider picking up Ryan Strome. The team’s current second-line centre, Strome is the most likely candidate to slide into the vacancy on the top line. He’s only owned in 3% of Yahoo Fantasy leagues and has six points so far this season, good for fourth on the team.
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