NHL New York Rangers

Chris Kreider Is X-Factor For New York Rangers in 2013-14

Chris Kreider

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers fans were scratching their heads all season long wondering why Chris Kreider wasn’t getting a shot to play. Clearly, former coach John Tortorella either didn’t trust him or just did not like his style of play, so Kreider became an afterthought. Well, now that Tortorella is gone, all eyes are on Kreider and rightly so.

The talented power forward is going to play this year — make no mistake about it. There is going to be pressure on the Rangers and, again, rightly so. After a season that started with so much hype and ended so bitterly, the fans are once again putting the pressure on the team to win it all. The one thing the Rangers were lacking in 2012 was depth. If Kreider plays the way he is capable of, it will help the Rangers’ depth immensely.

Everyone remembers how Kreider flew onto the scene during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He registered five goals and two assists for seven points in 18 games. Two of those goals were game winners. Kreider did this without playing in a single regular season game. When given the opportunity to play with Rick Nash and Derick Brassard in the playoffs this year, he scored another incredible goal in overtime against the Boston Bruins.

If Kreider steps up his play, he will become one of the most feared power forwards in the game. For a guy who is 6-foot-3 and 226 pounds, he is an incredibly fast skater. Take into account that he will be featured as top-six forward in a system that will show off his amazing talent, and Kreider will be poised for a breakout year. Expect him to score at least 20-25 goals and register close to 60 points.

The Rangers are once again expected to make a deep playoff run. If Kreider can live up to all his hype, expect to see the Rangers playing into late May and early June.