Great news Rangers fans, Mika Zibanejad skated with his teammates today with the intention of playing Wednesday in Ottawa.
Rangers center Mika Zibanejad skated with his teammates Monday at practice. Though he has not been cleared for contact as of yet, the hope is that he will be cleared on Tuesday, assuming he has no setbacks, for a full practice. If all goes well Zibanejad may be lacing up his skates for Wednesday’s contest in Ottawa against the Senators.
Zibanejad participating in this morning’s skate. Wearing a normal jersey, working as extra defenseman.
— Justin Tasch (@J_Tasch) December 11, 2017
Zibanjead will miss his sixth-straight game when the Rangers host the Dallas Stars at MSG on Monday night as he is still officially in the concussion protocol. At the time of his concussion injury, he was leading the Rangers in goals with 11.
“It’s good to be back with the guys again and see faces out there,” said Zibanejad to Matt Calamia of NYRangers.com on Monday. “It’s always positive.”
Mika has been following the doctors and trainers plan in order to get him back without any setbacks. He has just been going about things day to day and sees where that takes his recovery. He wants to get back with his teammates, but he isn’t putting any timetable into the decision to return.
“We’ll see how I feel today,” he said. Zibanejad continued. “Can’t look ahead too much in a situation like this. It felt good being out there again and we’ll see how the rest of the day goes and what else we’re doing today and we’ll go from there.”
As is always the case with head coach Alain Vigneault, Zibanejad will have to participate in at least one full practice before he will consider putting him back into the lineup. Since today was a non-contact skate, it doesn’t count as a full practice to the head coach.
Considering Mika hasn’t played in the last six games (including Monday’s contest against Dallas), he didn’t think his conditioning was that bad.
“It’s not too, too bad,” he said. “I need a few practices to get it back, but I think I’ve been pretty active still and feel – obviously – different when you can do stuff, at least a little bit every day. I just need some more time on the ice [and] we should be good to go.”
The Rangers miss the right-handed shot of Zibanejad, especially on the power play. Hopefully, we will get to see him return to play his former team on Wednesday.