Chris Kreider burst onto the scene in the 2011-12 postseason, where he came right out of college and immediately helped the New York Rangers get to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Right after finishing his hockey career in Boston College, Kreider was instantly called up and put on the Rangers’ postseason roster, without even playing his first regular season game in the NHL.
In the 2011-12 playoffs, Kreider scored five goals and had two assists in 18 games and proved to be a clutch goal scorer at the very young age of 20.
However, Kreider suffered a major step backwards in the strike-shortened 2012-13 season. He spent a lot of time going to and from the NHL and AHL and never really found his game at all last year. Kreider only played in 23 out of 48 regular season games and finished the season with only two goals and one assist.
Many times during the year, rumors were floating around that Kreider fell out of favor with Rangers then head coach, John Tortorella, and as a result did not give him the minutes or the opportunity to prove himself and to get better.
Kreider did, however, show his clutch goal scoring ability once again in the 2012-13 playoffs by scoring the game-winning goal in overtime in Game 4 of the second round against the Boston Bruins, in which the Rangers trailed 3-0 in the series at that time.
With the Rangers hiring a new head coach in Alain Vigneault, who has a more up tempo, offensive style of play than Tortorella, Kreider should be given the proper minutes and opportunities to score goals and for the Rangers to get back to the ECF and possibly advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. Kreider needs to have a breakout season.