The speedy forward was forced to watch the first 10 games, working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery. But there's a strong chance he'll be in the lineup when the Rangers (3-7-0) face the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday night.
"All I've heard is that everyone that was on the ice is going to take the warmup, and then go from there," said Hagelin, who participated in the optional skate at the Coliseum on Tuesday morning. "I'm just going to prepare myself to play and then if I play, I'll play."
The Rangers have experienced tremendous difficulty scoring goals this season. In 10 games, they've found the back of the net 15 times. They played their first nine games of the season on the road while the finishing touches were put on the final phase of the transformation of Madison Square Garden. They finally returned home Monday night, only to be shut out 2-0 by the Montreal Canadiens.
Brad Richards leads the team with five goals. No other forward who will be in the lineup Tuesday has more than one.
Hagelin's eager to fix that.
"I think it's always frustrating being on the sidelines, to be honest," Hagelin said. "Obviously, you want to be out there to help out the guys. You want to be a part of the team, you want to do what you can and what you can do best. It was frustrating, but at the same time, I was able to get a lot of good work in. Hopefully, I'm stronger now than before."
Cam Talbot will get the start in goal for the Rangers on Tuesday. Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves against Montreal, his first start in nine days due to an undisclosed injury. Talbot is 1-1-0 with a 1.94 goals-against average and .934 save percentage.
"It's a pretty heated rivalry over the past bunch of years," Talbot said of facing the Islanders. "It'll be exciting to get in there and be a part of it, and hopefully I make my own mark on it."