Adam Fox’s health remains a Ranger question heading into Game 2

Adam Fox had neither the time nor the interest to discuss his health before Game 1 of this conference final, brushing off questions about it like sweat from his brow.

“I’m OK,” he said Tuesday. “I’m ready to leave tomorrow.”

Tomorrow came and went, and Fox looked nothing like his usual self as he struggled through 24 minutes, 56 seconds of ice time, conceding two goals at five-on-five.

New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox is suffering from a possible knee-to-knee injury. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Whether Fox is still feeling the aftereffects of his knee collision with Nick Jensen in the first round is a question no one expects to have a real answer to until the end of the season.

But it certainly raised eyebrows when Fox went five straight games without a point in Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to the Panthers, his longest streak since going six straight games without a point to close the 2020-21 regular season.

Fox has only gone five or more consecutive games without a point four other times in his career, and one of those times came in his first seven games played in the NHL.

For now, this issue is not limited to the Rangers’ number 23.

Their defense has only allowed two combined goals in the playoffs, but Fox is the one leading the offense, and he knows it.

The Foxes have not scored in five straight games.
The Foxes have not scored in five straight games. AP

“Obviously, we want to get results,” Fox said Thursday, “and there are some guys, myself included, that are expected to be more offensively than others. I think the main goal for our defense, especially against high-octane teams, is to play defense first and not force the offense.”

“Going out on the rush, getting in late and getting the puck off the blue line and bouncing it like that. When the opportunity comes, I definitely want to jump.”

That almost didn’t happen in Game 1, when puck transportation proved to be a comprehensive issue for the Rangers.

“Especially the first two series [the defenders] “They were trying to get going, they were trying to get involved,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “The game-winning goal was [in Game 6 against Carolina] where [Ryan Lindgren] Moving around the net, finding the puck to the net more, finding lanes to the net behind the rush, those kinds of things. I think that’s going to improve their production.”

Asked if Filip Chytil, who took a hit from Nikko Mikkola in the final seconds of Game 1, was OK, Laviolette would say only that he had “nothing to report at this point” regarding the lineup.

“Do I want to be a little more physical? Absolutely,” he said. “What we’ve got to do is stay focused and play the game.”