Kreider Injury Hurts Rangers Offensively
The team has been able to put the puck in the net with some kind of regularity this year while also throwing more pucks on net, generating more quality scoring chances, being good on the rush, and being a much tougher team to play against. Head coach Alaign Vigneault's system has fit the Blueshirts nicely this season and with him at the helm, that should continue to be the case for the next few seasons.
With all of that said, however, missing a key offensive player can sometimes greatly impact the system. Unfortunately, the Rangers are now facing this reality as they found out today that forward Chris Kreider will be out at least a month with a broken hand while Vigneault says that for now, Kreider is expected to miss his team's next five games, including tonight's tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers.
This injury hurts the Blueshirts in a variety of ways. For starters, it takes one of the team's leading goal scorers out of the lineup.
As of this writing, Kreider, 22, is tied for second on the team with 17 goals this season. Kreider is someone that can score from several areas inside the offensive zone and someone that is not afraid to drive hard to the net to score a goal.
This injury also hurts the Rangers' power play. Kreider is tied for the team lead with six power play goals this season and was someone that the team looked to get the puck to while with the man advantage.
Krieder's broken hand also means that the Derek Stepan, Rick Nash and Kreider line will be dissolving for at least the next few weeks. This was/is the Rangers' top line this season and is one where each player has been productive.
The Rangers will also really miss Kreider's speed. It is Kreider's speed that is helpful on odd man rushes, breakaways, forechecking, and getting back into the defensive zone.
Like every other NHL team currently dealing with injuries, the Rangers will need to find a way to deal with the loss of Kreider and march on towards the playoffs without one of the better offensive catalysts.