The Rangers only announced that Chris Kreider will not be in the lineup Wednesday against Philadelphia in a gigantic Metropolitan Division showdown at the Garden (8 p.m.).
Prior to that, TSN’s always reliable Bob McKenzie tweeted that Kreider had suffered a long-term hand injury, possibly a broken hand, and that he would miss a month or maybe more. That tweet was removed from McKenzie’s twitter account shortly after it was posted.
However, TSN ran with the report as it was.
Shortly thereafter, the Rangers comfirmed that Kreider will miss Wednesday’s game, but offered no further information.
UPDATE: Watching video of game: looked like Kreider may have blocked Michalek shot with open palm of left hand in first period.
If Kreider is indeed out long-term, the Rangers lose some of their size and speed, obviously, and one of their top scoring threats. Kreider, though he has been extremely inconsistent lately, has 17 goals and 20 assists in 66 games.
Against the Flyers the Rangers could re-insert ex-Flyer Daniel Carcillo into the lineup — he was scratched Monday against Phoenix — and go with a more rugged group of forwards for what promises to be a physical game.
More likely, though, J.T. Miller will be recalled from Hartford as a long-term answer who could replace some of Kreider’s speed and offense, either in Kreider’s usual spot on the left of Rick Nash and Derek Stepan, or on one of the other top three lines if another forward is moved to Stepan’s line.
Kreider played only three shifts in the third period Monday — he scored an own-goal to give Phoenix a 3-2 lead — and none in overtime, which is not unusual since coach Alain Vigneault doesn’t trust Kreider’s defensive instincts during 4-on-4 situations.
MSG Network’s cameras caught Kreider removing his glove, shaking his left hand, and he had his wrist/thumb taped, after the second period.
So stay tuned …
ps, McKenzie’s original tweet was reposted shortly after 8 p.m., following a tweet in which he said he had no idea why the original had disappeared.
Photo by Getty Images.