The New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider is always a noticeable player, when he is playing his game. A power forward from Boston College originally made his mark into Rangers lore during the 2012 playoffs where in eighteen games, he scored five goals and tallied seven points, all before he even played a regular season game. Fast forward three years, and he is still am impact player, when his head is in the game.
When Kreider is playing his game, he is physical (hitting everything in his path), wins the races, and is an offensive machine. This season, in eighty games, he scored a career high in goals (21) and points (46). However, there are times during his career where Kreider has been nearly absent from the game.
While he had a great series against the Penguins and play responsibly, there is a whole other level of play that every fan knows he can rise too. He is a big body (6’3″ and 226 pounds) who is hard to knock off the puck in the corners and can easily line up anyone in the league for a big hit.
There were times where he seemed to not know his own strength and would wind up getting a penalty and sometimes worse, a suspension. So it is understandable that he may be letting up when it comes to the physical play, but he needs to be more noticeable on the ice.
Kreider, who will turn 24 on Thursday (same day as Game 1 of the series against Washington), will need to be a more assertive/noticeable player on the ice if the Rangers will want to be successful against the Capitals. When number 20 is on his game, there is no stopping him.
His line of Derek Stepan and J.T. Miller has really developed chemistry since being put together and can easily be a factor in this Semi-Finals matchup.
Chris Kreider is one of those rare players who seems to elevate his game during the postseason and the deeper the team goes, the better he gets (i.e. last year’s Stanley Cup run where he was fourth on the team in scoring, despite missing eleven games). For New York to be successful, they will need the young forward to be on the score sheet and be on it often, be physical, use his speed to his advantage, and of course be a net presence in front of Holtby.