Chris Kreider's fear of injury highlights the priorities of the Rangers


There are views from inside and from above and they are not always in a row.

In the Rangers' dressing room, they believe in themselves, in their chance to run into the playoffs, and in fighting every day to collect as many points as possible. At the top of the front office, the focus is on the future, maximizing assets in the run-up to the close of February 24, and improving the line-up to remain a constant competitor this season.

So if there were to be a lesson from Chris Kreider's fear of injury in the 1-0 win against the horrible Red Wings in Detroit on Saturday night – and assuming that it was just a fear, like coach David Quinn later announced the game – then the lesson is that it can be difficult to match these views of the present and the future.

"Other teams will get this [points]So we have to get them, ”said deputy captain Marc Staal after the Wings home game. "What are you still playing for? Even if you don't want to talk about it, you're playing for the playoffs. "

The Rangers (25-21-4) started on Super Bowl Sunday nine points behind second place with four teams in the last 32 games. It is even more important that there are still eleven games pending by the deadline – six of them on the street – which is why the situation in Kreider was temporarily so nerve-wracking.

Chris Kreider Rangers NHL Close 2020
Chris KreiderRobert Sabo

At the beginning of the second section, Kreider went into the corner and when team-mate Mika Zibanejad passed the boards, he tried to jump over Kreider to avoid him. Instead, Zibanejad's right knee caught the side of Kreider's head and tore it violently. Kreider got up slowly, went into the locker room and did not return.

Quinn said it wasn't a concussion and Kreider was feeling better after the game. The Rangers called him "day after day", but it might be a little premature to think that he can play the stars in the Garden Match on Monday night.

Of course, the 28-year-old Kreider will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, making him the most attractive landlord on the retail market. If the Rangers are considering signing it again, it is because they believe it is worth the job. When trading with him it is because you feel that your salary will be better spent elsewhere in the coming years, along with a return that may be too difficult to miss.

It wouldn't be because they want him to run this postseason, even if his teammates see it that way.

"It is a big part of our room and our setup," said Staal. "Hopefully it won't be too long for him to go down like this. It means a lot to this room."

Quinn too can only focus on winning games. That is his job. So he called it "a big one" before the game on Saturday evening and added: "I just like the feeling of our team. At the moment there is a real connection. Our boys really play together and everyone plays for each other."

Soon some of them – including Kreider – could play elsewhere. But as the Rangers have shown, it is almost impossible to reconcile the big picture and everyday focus.

You can find more information about the Rangers in the latest episode of the podcast "Up In The Blue Seats":