Kreider Continues to Impress
For the Blueshirts, this player is Chris Kreider. In what is considered his rookie season despite having already played in 23 games last season, Kreider has been one of the club's better offensive players this season.
In 37 games, Kreider has 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points. A lot of these points have come over the last month and a half or so as Kreider has earned time on the team's top line with Derek Stepan and Rick Nash.
One reason why Kreider has been so consistent this season is because of his speed. Time and time again this season, Kreider has beaten to defenders to loose pucks, has had many chances on breakaways and has been able to get quality scoring chances coming down the wing.
Another reason why Kreider has had success this season is because of his confidence. Under previous head coach John Tortorella, Kreider never knew where he stood and more often than not, found himself on the bench, as a healthy scratch or down with the the club's farm team in Hartford, CT.
Under new head coach Alain Vigneault, Kreider has found a permanent spot in the team's lineup. Yes, Vigneault sent him down earlier in the season, but since returning to the team, Kreider has played on the team's top two forward lines while also earning time on the power play.
Kreider has also shown that he is not afraid to shoot the puck. Thus far, Kreider has taken 86 shots this season and more often than not, has been able to fire them from high-percentage areas in the offensive zone.
The 22-year-old Boxford, Mass. native has also shown an ability to overcome adversity. It was clear that with Tortorella last season, Kreider's play suffered not only because he did not get a lot of playing time, but also because of the fact that he was dealing with seeing time on the bench, being a healthy scratch and playing in the AHL.
When Kreider was struggling early on this season, the team sent him down to the AHL once again. With that said, Kreider's response was much different as he came back up to the team, played his game and did what he needed to do to help out his hockey club.
While the Rangers' present might not be so enlightening, it is their future that looks bright as Kreider continues to grow and develop into perhaps the team's best forward down the line.