This is a tough question to answer as of now, considering Chris Kreider is expected to be out indefinitely, and at this point we are not aware of how serious Ryan McDonagh’s injury is, even though a team spokesman said late last night that it isn’t actually a “serious” injury.
In terms of Krieder, the team has played well without him. That being said, they will inevitably miss his size, speed and skill. J.T. Miller was believed to be a good replacement for the rookie, but Vigneault has proven, yet again, he is not comfortable with the second-year man.
Once the playoffs come around, though, I believe the Rangers will truly miss the presence of Kreider. They aren’t an overly big physical group, but Kreider is.
As for McDonagh, if he’s out long-term, the Rangers are in a lot of trouble. I feel that he is literally the last player the team could afford to lose to injury, even more so than Henrik Lundqvist. I say this because—although he is not a replacement—Cam Talbot has proven a worthy NHL backup, and if the defense plays as it has in front of Talbot, the blow wouldn’t be as serious. Losing McDonagh—a potential Norris candidate—affects the team on numerous levels; defensively, offensively and in terms of leadership.
All the Rangers can hope for at this point is that McDonagh misses little to no time, because if he’s out an extended period of time, any Stanley Cup hopes the team had will have come to a screeching halt.