This could be the year for Chris Kreider.
In his 10th NHL season, with three games half way through, Kreider is six goals away from reaching the first 30-goal campaign of his career. He’s finished 28 times and has had seven seasons with more than 20 goals, but the longest-running Ranger has yet to hit the coveted 30-goal mark.
Kreider scored his 24th goal of the season, and fifth in the past six games, in Rangers’ 3-2 win over the Flyers in Philadelphia on Saturday night. Redirecting the goal of the match from an Adam Fox shot in front of the net, Kreider entered Sunday with the fourth-most goalscoring streak in the NHL.
“He’s played a lot of games, he knows how to win this tournament, and he’s the frontrunner for us,” Fox said of Kreider after the road win. “When we needed a spark or a big goal, it seemed like he was always there for us. It’s no different [Saturday]. ”
The 30-year-old winger is playing one of the best hockey games of his career, it was confirmed last week when he was announced as an All-Star alongside Fox, the current defending champion. Norris Trophy champion. While this will be Kreider’s second All-Star appearance, it is his first outright pick after he became an injury replacement for Artemi Panarin in 2020.
That’s just the surface of what Kreider means for Rangers 2021-22. In addition to playing a leadership role in the dressing room, Kreider also led Rangers to 12 career-high power iconic goals, a second-best run in the NHL on Sunday. His total of 17 points on the male advantage is also a career best.
“I think he is playing very confidently,” said head coach Gerard Gallant. “We put him in the PK, obviously he took the responsibility there and did a great job at it. With his speed and power and when he gets to the net, with his power play, he kicks the ball and he goes around the net, hitting the post again. [Saturday night]. I just think he is full of confidence and things are going well.”
Between the way Kreider mastered his presence on the front lines and the continuity of the first unit, Rangers power play has repeatedly found a way to be effective. Rangers rounded up games in the top 10 in the league at 23.2%, while their 26 goals tied for fifth.
The Blueshirts drew 1-1 in Saturday’s power game, helping to improve the team to 16-2-3 in games where they scored thanks to their man-made advantage. Kreider also took charge of the free-kick, something he hasn’t done much of so far this season.
After countering the Flyers’ lone power play in their most recent win, Rangers have completed their penalty shootout in seven of their last nine and 11 of their last 14.
“I think he’s definitely been a dominant player this year,” Fox said. “Obviously, around the net he is good. But he’s doing big attacks, defending and I know he’s killing penalties. He’s a young man on the team. Now, he’s the older one on the team. So I think he knows how to handle the room well and when we need him, he will step up.”
https://nypost.com/2022/01/16/rangers-fueled-by-chris-kreiders-career-year/ Rangers fueled by Chris Kreider’s career years