New York Rangers, Mats Zuccarello
Photo by Bergen Record

The New York Rangers had their best performance of the season against the Islanders yesterday, however Chris Kreider continues to be a non-factor.

By Chris Wengert

Yesterday, the New York Rangers dropped a 2-1 decision to the Islanders.

Even though it was another loss, it was by far the Blueshirts best performance of the season. If it wasn’t for that lovely skills competition, the Rangers may have walked away with a win.

READ MORE: Rangers Can’t Beat Halak, Islanders In Shootout

It was a loss that Blueshirt fans can be optimistic about. Their team played a smart, fast, and complete 65-minute game that has gone missing over the past week.

The most encouraging aspect of the game was that everyone contributed.

Henrik Lundqvist was a brick wall, the defense jumped into the play to keep possession, and Tanner Glass (yes, you read that right) even sparked some life into the third line.

Well, almost everyone contributed.

When he made his debut with the team, Chris Kreider gave a great first impression to the Ranger organization and their fans.

Kreider’s first NHL experience was during the 2011-2012 playoffs, when he scored goals like this:

With his fast, physical style of play, fans thought they had something special.

For the next three seasons, Kreider became a streaky player that seemed to possess unlimited potential.

Fast forward to last June, and the Rangers disappointing 2014-2015 playoff run brought about many questions in Kreider’s game. At the end of the season, Kreider spoke with the New York Post about how he planned to improve his play in the off season:

“I’m going to reach out to people and I have already reached out to people who I believe can help me improve and get to the level I want to reach…I’m going to work with a skills coach, I’m going to continue to work with my conditioning and skating instructor, I’m probably going to take some boxing lessons and I’m going to consult with a sports psychologist.”

He also had this to say about his play:

“I need to take the next step to become more confident and the kind of effective player that I’m counted upon being for this team and my teammates. It’s time for me to take the next step.”

Well, fans are still waiting Chris.

Last night’s game in Brooklyn was one of the poorest performances from Kreider, as a Ranger.

He lacked physicality (one of his biggest assets), and isn’t creating quality scoring chances anymore.

At one point last night, Kreider was breaking into the Islander’s zone on a two-on-one, and stopped at the half-boards.

Without shooting or breaking hard to the net, Kreider slowed the momentum and gave a lame pass that was easily pushed aside by Islanders defenders.

Where is the Kreider that fans loved and opponents loved to hate? This version of Kreider looks lost.

Maybe it’s all in his head. Perhaps there is an injury that we don’t know about. Whatever it is, he needs to fix his game, and that’s why it’s time for him to sit a game or two.

Put him in the press box and let him watch some tape, or do whatever is necessary to clear his head because the simple fact is this:

Ranger fans could be watching a parade in June if Kreider realizes his potential.

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I've been a die hard Rangers and Giants fan for as long as I can remember. I enjoy sharing opinions, and hearing from fans that love their teams just as much as I do. Henrik Lundqvist makes all of us look like mere mortals. E-mail me at: