As reported on Blueshirt Banter earlier today, Mats Zuccarello has been recalled from the Connecticut Whale.
According to multiple twitter reports Marian Gaborik has a "sore" groin and will probably be out of tomorrow's matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
I speculated about this earlier in the week. Here is what I said from that article:
The feeling I got from Gross' article -- and again I have no inside knowledge or information -- is that the Rangers would like to take a good hard look at Zuccarello at an NHL level this season. Sure, the other quotes in the story suggest that Zuccarello needs a little more time in the AHL before he can make a significant impact, but with the injury to Callahan this is the perfect opportunity for Zuccarello to showcase his skills to the Rangers brass.
Zuccarello can play on the third-line with a bunch of different pairings. For those of you who are dreaming of a Zuccarello-Derek Stepan pairing, you can probably stop now. Both players are pass-first and playmakers. It does neither of them any good to be paired with each other at this point in their careers.
Maybe when both have some more NHL time under their belts, and they get accustomed to scoring a few more goals it might work. But for right now, I don't think it would be smart to move them out of their comfort zones to simply make a "kid line."
I do, however, love the idea of a Zuccarello-Boyle-Avery line. Boyle has shown this season that he knows how to get to the tough areas of the ice and create space for himself. So if Zuccarello is as good of a passer as everyone is saying he is, him and Boyle might be a match made in heaven. I also love the idea of Avery on this line, because Avery will take the others teams attention away from Zuccarello and give him some more space to work with. Avery also has a nice shot to boot.
The only thing that doesn't apply is that Zuccarello will be replacing Gaborik, not Ryan Callahan. That changes the line pairings a little, but it still doesn't change potential matchups with other players, it just changes which lines he might play on.
The more concerning issue is Gaborik's injury, and how big of a problem it will be. These groin issues can be lingering, and they have been for him in the past, let's hope that the Rangers are being extra cautious.