Chris Kreider started the season very well. However, production has gone down for the New York Rangers’ forward. He needs to step up fast.
The New York Rangers began this season looking like a brand new team. As of late, production has gone down and the team seems lost at times.
A big part of this can go hand in hand with the production, or lack thereof, from forward Chris Kreider.
Kreider’s season began with a fiery first few games but, since then, his play has gone far down. You don’t notice him in certain spots of the game, which is something that he needed to work on and seemingly did so for the first few games.
There is no question that he is one of the fastest skaters in the league. Not only does he have speed, but he is so strong on the puck as well.
It takes a lot to strip the puck off of a skater who can outwork you with speed and muscle. Kreider clocks in at 6-foot-3, 228 pounds.
It’s a shame that these tools he has at his disposal don’t get used enough.
Kreider’s problems stem from being childish at times during the game. In years past, it wasn’t a surprise to see him in a scrum for no reason other than trying to get under a player’s skin.
While the tactic is good, and sometimes works, the Blueshirts would often be short-changed during the process and be handed a two-minute minor for Kreider’s stupidity.
Every year, he seems to get a little better. Fans see less and less of the stupid, unnecessary issues and more of the good side of his game.
One simply cannot deny that Kreider has the potential to be deadly on the Rangers’ roster.
If he can go north-south and play hard on the forecheck, good outcomes will find him. The Rangers can dominate the dump-and-chase aspect of the game if he can skate hard to the puck.
Kreider’s biggest issue, though, is his slumps. Every player gets them, but when it comes to Kreider, it seems to never end. He is always in the limelight, and this may be the reason why he slumps. Perhaps he can’t function under that amount of pressure.
This year, he seems to find himself in one of those slumps again. But here is the good news: Against Carolina, No. 20 scored two big goals during the third period of the Rangers’ 4-2 victory. This may be what he needed to get back on track.
When Kreider is at the top of his game, there are a few things that you know you will see.
For starters, he is speeding around the entire rink at all sides. There is no anticipating where he will be because he’ll be gone by the time you can think about it.
Another thing you’ll notice is how fast he is on the puck. This goal was a brilliant example. Take a look:
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) December 3, 2016
As soon as he saw the puck was loose, he was on top of it before anyone else was.
For Kreider, his potential breakout against the Hurricanes should have served as a realization of what he can do on a nightly basis.
If he is at the top of his game, other players will be too. It’s all about chemistry.