Are the Rangers Playing Possum with Kreider’s Injury?
First off, this article is pure speculation. I have no inside information on Chris Kreider here. As it stands right now Kreider is expected to miss at least the 1st round of the playoffs, maybe more. The latest reports from Pat Leonard (NYDN), Andrew Gross (Record) and Katie Strang (ESPN) say as much. He was last seen sporting a black brace on his hand at practice and performing one-handed tips in front of the net.
So, why do I think the Rangers may be doing a little gamesmanship with this injury? Because it’s the playoffs and you take any competitive edge you have and use it. So why am I taking this leap? The timeline and circumstances of what has transpired to date make me suspicious.
March 21st: Kreider hurts hand.
March 26th: after playing 2 games with the injury, NYR announce Kreider will miss at least 5 games.
March 28th: Sather makes the decision to shut down Kreider and perform surgery on his hand.
April 10th: Kreider is seen at practice with a brace.
Now, Kreider was able to play two games with the injury, so that’s my first eyebrow raise. Rangers shut him down and consult with doctors about the injury. Within days of shutting him down they make the decision to have surgery.
Is it possible doctor’s believed that performing the procedure now would mean he could be available in time for the start of the playoffs? If not the start, mid round 1?
Again, pure speculation, but they poured gas on the fire when he made a return to practice on April 10th. Why risk any setback with an errant puck hitting his hand, or some freak accident where either he fell on it or another player bumped into it? Just so he can go out there and deflect pucks with his good hand? It just doesn’t add up.
Here’s the deal, it appears very likely that Kreider is going to miss the opening of the playoffs and maybe the entire first round. But in the spirit of gamesmanship, could the Rangers be playing a little psychological warfare? I guess we will find out on Thursday.