Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers is a young man that a lot of fans have high hopes for, even though for some it might be dwindling.
With a stellar 2012 postseason where he went straight from college to the NHL playoffs without even playing an NHL regular season game, Kreider burst onto the scene with five goals and two assists in 18 postseason games for the Rangers in their playoff run that sadly ended in the Eastern Conference Finals.
After Kreider’s great performance in the 2012 playoffs, every single Ranger fan had him already becoming an elite goal scorer the next season, which was an unfair assessment if you think about it. However, Kreider did not even have an average season as he only recorded two goals and one assist in 23 regular season games in 2013, and took numerous bus rides to and from the AHL.
The 2013 playoffs showed a glimmer of hope for him though, as he scored a clutch overtime goal in a second-round elimination game to keep the Rangers’ hopes alive.
Now whether you contribute Kreider’s lackluster 2013 season to former head coach John Tortorella and his defensive/conservative style of play or not, what’s done is done.
With Rangers’ captain Ryan Callahan and winger Carl Hagelin likely to miss the first few weeks of the season, and possibly the entire month, Kreider will have a huge opportunity and a great shot to start the season on the Rangers’ first scoring line.
After last season though, does he deserve to be on the team’s first line?
I say it would be really dumb to hold grudges for last season, and we will see what Kreider shows the team in preseason. With new head coach Alain Vigneault and his more offensive/up-tempo style of play compared to Tortorella’s, the offensive-minded Kreider should shine, and hopefully fans will see that this September.
If that is the case then yes, Kreider will deserve and will start this season on the Rangers’ first scoring line.
Do you agree?