Over the course of the season, the New York Rangers have seen their offense shift from hot streaks by Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller to Michael Grabner to Rick Nash. These players, however, are not the most consistent and talented forwards…
The New York Rangers find themselves with a potential star on their hands, and his name is none other than Chris Kreider. The team’s most lethal offensive weapon, Kreider heard perhaps a little too much chatter last season about where he stands on this team.
He took that as an opportunity to come out in 2016-2017 with a newfound determination.
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He was ready to prove his worth on this roster and has had no trouble doing so to this point. Whether it’s hard hitting or puck possession time, Kreider has developed into a key player for this Rangers’ team, and he’s resolved to have it stay that way.
When comparing Kreider to other Rangers’ forwards, it is obvious to see his talent. Miller, who currently leads the team in points with 45, has played in six more games than Kreider. Kreider currently has 39 points in 48 games as this is being written, which means he could catch up to Miller if given enough time.
If one were to compare Kreider to Grabner, it is once again clear that Kreider possesses the stronger scoring skills.
Take the game against the Flames, for instance. Grabner had practically an empty net to shoot into, but Kreider used his strength and speed to go top shelf on the goaltender. It was a goal that didn’t require anyone else to help him score. Take a look:
In comparison to Mats Zuccarello, Kreider is one point less than him with less games played. In the game against the Predators, Zuccarello fed Kreider for a goal that deflected off of his leg. Kreider’s good positioning allowed him to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead. The goal proved that the two have solid chemistry.
Kreider’s ability to go to the net this season has been a game-changer, as shown by that goal. Normally Kreider has avoided being a net-front presence despite his size and screening abilities, but this year he has made a home out of the area in front of the blue paint.
That change has created nightmares for goaltenders, and the offense has received additional support because of it.