The Rangers have been up and down all season long and there has been absolutely no consistency from any unit, line, and from any one player. All that needs to change, but above all the Rangers need that much, much discussed issue of secondary offensive to be resolved quickly.
Chris Kreider’s shot that resulted in his goal against the Devils was a thing of beauty. Yes, perhaps Brodeur shouldn’t have been beaten from such an angle, but Kreider had almost nothing to aim at and still found a hole up high. It’s an example, isolated as it is so far this season, of Kreider’s undoubted ability.
The Rangers are suffering right now, without doubt. They are desperate for secondary scoring, desperate for Ryan Callahan to return, and getting pretty desperate for any kind of prolonged spark to ignite their season. It’s because of all these combined facts that Kreider’s development into a legitimate scoring option needs to happen quicker than ever.
Perhaps it’s not fair to expect too much from the young American winger t0o soon but the fact is he’s needed. Whether he’s ready for that pressure remains to be seen, but the pressure is there and it’s not going away anytime soon. Not on a team saddled with the expectancy that the Rangers have.
What would help is some consistent creativity from the Rangers, regardless who provides it. Brad Richards’ delayed pass to Kreider for his goal was a clever piece of play by the Rangers center, a kind of creativity that hasn’t been seen enough this season.
However, the Rangers top line have been creating even if they haven’t been finishing enough. It’s beyond that line where the improvement needs to come from. Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan need to step up, but if Chris Kreider (or a J.T. Miller for that matter) could provide a scoring streak –a legitimate threat from another line– then the Rangers season would improve almost immediately. It’s starting to become a critical issue.