Since it was announced that Chris Kreider broke his left hand in late March, many predicted a possible return by the second round if the Rangers were lucky enough to advance that far. But based on what’s been reported regarding his recovery that seems less and less likely by the day.
Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record notes that Kreider, who did not participate in this morning’s game day practice, remains out indefinitely without a timetable for return.
Yesterday, Kreider went through some tough conditioning drills before the team’s full practice, but has yet to begin shooting the puck other than tip drills with his healthy right hand.
During his recent conditioning drills he has been able to grip his stick with his injured left hand, which he hadn’t previously been able to do…
…even if the Rangers win the series against the Flyers in seven games, if Kreider hasn’t even begun participating in shooting drills, I don’t know how anyone expects he’d be ready for the beginning of a semifinal round match-up against the Penguins that would likely start at the end of the week.
…and beyond that, I’d say his availability for the entire series is likely questionable at best as he hasn’t practiced in over a month and would likely need a full week to get into game shape and gain the confidence of his head coach.
…i wouldn’t be shocked if we didn’t see him until the end of a potential second round series at the very earliest.
…up until this point, the Rangers have been able to get buy without their top rookie, but make no mistake about it, the Rangers are a much better team with him in the line-up and he’d be a key piece for the Blueshirts in any series against the Penguins.