The New York Rangers already knew they would be without Chris Kreider for some time after the young forward suffered a hand injury last week. It was initially reported that he would miss a month or more. Kreider had surgery on his hand Friday and there is no timeline for his return at this point.
As head coach Alain Vigneault explained to Blueshirts United, the club's official blog:
"He got operated on today and he is out indefinitely, it's all I can tell you. We waited for the doctors to tell us the best course of action, and they came to the conclusion yesterday and he got operated on today."
That obviously doesn't sound too promising for the 22-year-old forward as the postseason nears. The Rangers have been playing good hockey off late and are looking poised to make an honest run in the postseason.
Doing it without Kreider makes it a little tougher. He has 17 goals, which is tied for third best on the club. With 37 points, Kreider is fourth in rookie scoring in the NHL.
His speed, size and finishing ability make Kreider a dangerous player and gives the Rangers good scoring depth. He's not easy to replace, but it will put more pressure on New York's top players to step up and fill the void by doing even more than they are now.
Perhaps this isn't going to be as bad as feared, but indefinite timelines are particularly concerning this time of year.