Many factors have led to a disappointing start to the NHL season for New York Rangers. Their poor defense has led to an offense that hasn’t been able to generate enough scoring chances. Every area needs improvement for New York, but one thing that has been evident is the Rangers’ lack of speed.
Injuries to Carl Hagelin and Rick Nash certainly deplete the top-six forwards for the Blueshirts. This has forced players like Brian Boyle and Taylor Pyatt to play top-six minutes, something they are not suited to do. After waiving Arron Asham in order to bring up young forward J.T. Miller, it seems that Alain Vigneault and Glen Sather want to infuse some youth into the lineup. So why hasn’t Chris Kreider been brought up?
Kreider struggled last season in a defense first scheme and struggled this preseason in Vigneault’s system. It’s been a bumpy road for the Boston College alum after bursting onto the scene in the 2012 Playoffs. Kreider has continued to bounce back and forth between New York and their AHL club, Hartford Wolfpack. It’s time to give him a permanent spot on the NHL roster.
With his speed and size, Kreider has potential to be a very effective power forward for New York. If he can learn to start crashing the net and using his speed to win puck battles he could become one of the most valuable assets to a team in need of gritty forwards with scoring potential.
It can’t hurt to bring him up. I for one could use a break from Pyatt coasting along the ice. The Rangers need speed, skill and size. Kreider has these three “S’s” in spades.
Martin Burns covers New York Rangers hockey for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter for more thoughts and news on the Blueshirts as well as the rest of the NHL!