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Stepan takes line rushes, but still needs ‘full medical clearance’ to play tonight

May 27, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT

Derek Stepan AP

From NHL.com, on the possible return of Rangers forward Derek Stepan tonight in Montreal:

Stepan wore a plastic guard on his helmet to protect his surgically repaired jaw during the morning skate. He broke his jaw during Game 3 and underwent surgery Friday night.

He took line rushes in his usual spot between Chris Kreider and Rick Nash. He also worked in his usual spot on the first power-play unit with Kreider, Richards, Martin St. Louis and Ryan McDonagh.

But New York coach Alain Vigneault said after practice that the decision on whether Stepan would play tonight had yet to be made, and that it would be up to the team’s medical staff.

“There are a lot of things that have to happen for him to play tonight,” said Vigenault. “We are going to talk to him this afternoon and see how he reacted to the practice. Nutrition, obviously, is an issue at this time, so later on today we’ll talk to our doctors and we’ll talk to him and we’ll see how it works out.”

Vigneault added that the “only way [Stepan's] going to play tonight is if he gets full medical clearance. That’s not going to be up to him. It’s going to be up to our medical staff to make sure that they feel he can play.”

Stepan was held out of Game 4, a 3-2 overtime victory for the Rangers, who can advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1994 with a win tonight.

Related: Prust ‘feels awful’ for hit on his ‘friend’ Stepan

  1. cofran2004 - May 27, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    He’ll play, thus adding to the legend of the toughness of hockey players.

  2. nebbah306 - May 27, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    But I thought he was faking it…All these Canadiens fans kept telling me he wasnt injured. He can’t possibly miss two games.

    Now about those Canadiens, there must have been a sniper in the building in Game 4, because the Rangers were hitting players in the chest yet heads were snapping back

    • nyking1963 - May 27, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      Both teams should be ashamed of themselves for the ridiculous embellishing that has been going on this series.
      Neither team can hurt a fly with their physical play, so this is how they react. They remind me of little children ( I don’t mean their collective lack of height) playing in the sandbox and whining about what the other kid did.
      Watch the WC finals. Very few scrums after the whistle. Nobody embellishing anything. Just good, clean, physical hockey being played by the two best teams in hockey.

  3. bighossa - May 27, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Kinda fishy how he’s taking like rushes.

  4. mrd5c - May 27, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    Would love to see him play and score the game winner. Very tired of these Habs. Let’s Go Rangers!!

  5. restohpens - May 27, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    How could he have surgery and they wouldn’t shave his beard?
    Did they go from inside his mouth??

    He had yellow tape all over the chin guard so the cameras “couldn’t” see though it, but you could clearly see a big bushy playoff beard.

    • restohpens - May 27, 2014 at 5:31 PM

      Hey I’m just asking the questions that need to be asked, if you feel the need to thumbs down me, provide an answer!

      • 7mantel - May 27, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        Arthroscpic surgery

      • restohpens - May 27, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        Anthroscopic surgery of the jaw is not used to treat a fracture and still requires an incision on the skin. That surgery is more for the jaw joint, not a break or fracture.

      • 7mantel - May 27, 2014 at 6:51 PM

        If it was the Mandibular bone it can be repaired without surgery ! Do you know what bone in the jaw was broken ? I sure as hell don’t know .

      • restohpens - May 27, 2014 at 9:31 PM

        I can’t find any information about the injury, other than it being a fracture, and nothing about the surgery.

        Broken jaw Friday. Operation and plate put in jaw Saturday. Out of hospital Sunday. On a plane Monday. Game day Tuesday. #Stepansjaw #nyr—
        BrianWilde (@BWildeCTV) May 27, 2014

        That makes it seem like major surgery which you can’t have facial hair for. Also no one has addressed the vent holes on his guard being taped up.

        *adjusts tinfoil hat*

  6. muckleflugga - May 27, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    for a guy with a broken jaw, stepan had a lot to say after the hit … he’s was either [ is ] too stunned to know he was injured, or suffered a relatively minor injury

    a few dislocated teeth elevated to status of a shattered mandible … find everyone some hankies blue, to cry and cry over you

    and they say les canadiens whine and dive

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