Fourth line forward for the New York Rangers, Derek Dorsett, suffered a broken left fibula in the early part of January while trying to block a shot and was projected to be out for 4-6 weeks, however I think it will be longer.
No, I do not mean that Dorsett will take longer to recover, but that he will not have a starting job when he is set to return from his injury (unless there is another injury on the Rangers’ fourth line).
This is because after Dorsett was sidelined with his broken leg, the Rangers went out and acquired Daniel Carcillo from the Los Angeles Kings. Ever since that acquisition, the Rangers started to put together a good stretch of games leading all the way up to the Olympic break.
The Rangers have been winning more with Carcillo in the lineup over Dorsett, whether that is a major coincidence or not; what is not a mere coincidence is that Carcillo has made the Rangers’ fourth line better. Ever since the Rangers got Carcillo, the fourth line has been creating mismatches against the oppositions’ fourth line, creating scoring chances, and even putting the puck in the net. Not only has Carcillo scored a couple of goals since becoming a Ranger, but also line mates Dominic Moore and Brian Boyle have produced more offense since Carcillo’s arrival.
Now with Carcillo, the Rangers’ fourth line has been more physical. Carcillo is a physical player who is not afraid to throw his weight around and it has become infectious since even Boyle is starting to check harder and actually use his big body to his advantage.
For years now, one of the Rangers’ biggest weakness have been other teams’ fourth lines outplaying theirs and now with Carcillo, Moore, and Boyle it is the Rangers’ fourth line who is consistently outplaying their opponents’ fourth line.
With all of this being said, in my opinion, unless either Carcillo, Moore, or Boyle get injured, why would you toy with the Rangers’ fourth line, re-insert Dorsett, and ruin the great chemistry this line is currently having?
Do not rush Dorsett back. Instead, make him a healthy scratch until there is an injury on the Rangers’ fourth line. That would be my game plan and I think the Rangers’ coaching staff, and the fans, would all agree.