Oct
15

Can Chris Kreider put it all together this season?

October 15, 2016, by
chris kreider

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Chris Kreider has had an interesting Rangers career so far. He burst on the scene in the 2012 playoffs, but was up and down between the AHL and the NHL over the next two seasons. He stuck in the 2013-2014 season, as his rare combination of size and speed are matchup nightmares for opposing teams.

Kreider has been streaky as a Ranger, but certainly not ineffective. He’s put together a pair of 20-goal, 40-point seasons. But there is a common thinking that he could produce more. He’s been right on the cusp for a while, but the dry spells seem to always keep him from reaching 30 goals and perhaps 60 points.

After notching a goal and an assist in the season opener on Thursday night, it’s possible that Kreider finally has the right situation to put it all together. It may just be an overreaction from one game and a few preseason games, but something seems different, and it likely has to do with his linemates.

Prior to his pairing with Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich, Kreider was the go-to shooter on any line combination. The Rangers of the prior two years had many shooters, but few finishers. It forced Kreider into the “sniper” role. It’s a role that didn’t really fit him.

But now with Zibanejad, he’s no longer the shooter. He can get to the front of the net where he belongs, picking up the trash from all the Zibanejad shots. Buchnevich has tremendous vision, serving as the “playmaker” on the line.

Perhaps all Kreider needed was the right teammates with the right style of play to complement his own. In a very small sample size, we’ve seen something different from Kreider. He seems more comfortable with his role, which could lead to a breakout year from the 25-year-old winger.

"Can Chris Kreider put it all together this season?", 5 out of 5 based on 14 ratings.
Categories : Players

17 comments

  1. Blue Seat says:

    Small sample, but it’s differcult not to see Kreider’s line mates clicking (ok it’s early) and his attitude on the ice empowered to dominate. AV don’t mess it up, look somewhere else to tinker. How about Las Vegas?

    • paulronty says:

      Hopefully AV will put Vesey with Hayes, they were good together in preseason, but apparently AV didn’t notice.

  2. Walt says:

    From day one, the line of Z, Pavel, and Kreider just clicked, and made music to my ears. Agree with Blue Seat above, AV leave this line alone, it works!

    I hope, and believe that Chris will have a banner year, leading the team in scoring. It’s amazing that when matched up with good line mates, how one can produce !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Jerry says:

    Walt, there’s no doubt quality linemates matter, but Krieder was far too inconsistent last season, period. Individual effort has nothing to do with linemates. Sure one can make an argument that production is a function affected by linemates, and I’ll agree to that. But Krieder MUST be play as a power forward night in and night out, regardless of who is skating with him. He is capable, I’m sure of that. Let’s hope the light went on inside that cerebral head of his. I will sure be pulling for him!

    • Stranger Nation says:

      Agree early results are positive, but he looked lost at times for long stretches of games in the past. Very streaky. Hopefully playing with Zika and Butch will keep those stretches to a minimum.
      .
      He has all the tools and seems to better understand spacing in Ozone and that he can carry and create by himself. Frankly, his shooting needs to improve; needs to learn to lift the puck when shooting down low in the butterfly era.
      .
      Everybody jump out of the pool!

    • Walt says:

      Jerry

      Can’t argue against your points, but if one is more comfortable with his line, then he isn’t thinking, and will play more instinctively. He has the makings of great power forward !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • paulronty says:

      Actually he said the same thing you did before the season about how he needs to go to the net & be physical. He seemed to stop doing that after he fought the Ottawa guy(Neil?) defending MAC & was criticized by AV for taking 17 minutes.

  4. Leatherneck says:

    Too soon to tell but chemistry is there with both of his linemates. Buch has a bite to his game which is good. So as he gets better Kreider by default will get better too. So far he has been a beast. The knock on Kreider has always been his play away from the puck. So far he looks better in that area too.
    Stats can’t predict chemistry. It will be interesting to see how stat people will analyze Kreider if he significantly improves. Some things are just what they are.

  5. joe from newburgh says:

    I think that he’s the “veteran” on this line may play into it as well. Maybe now he feels more responsibility for making the line click than he did in the past.

  6. paulronty says:

    There was a lot of talk about trading Kreider last year. He’s a really gifted player who is very smart(just look at that reading list he talked about). That’s a lethal combination & he is having a lot of fun playing with Z & Buch. I think he loves being Buch’s big brother mentor too. Off topic, how about that line of Nieves-Kovacs-Stromwell last night. Fantastic pass from Boo to Kovacs for his goal.

  7. richsomma says:

    Does anyone else notice that the most successful ranger wingers played with a center other than Stepan? Poilet had a career year playing with Brassard [and Zucc]. Nash always player better when paired with Brassard. Anyone watching closely could see Kreiders talent but when playing with a slow, no grinder, non physical, no shot center its very difficult to excell. Whoever plays with stepan will not have a good year.
    Rangers go nowhere until girardi and stepan go elsewhere.

  8. Mark says:

    A goal and an assist and he was still a minus one

  9. Bobby B says:

    Kreider, off the charts potential as a premier power forward in the NHL. Physical gifts in abundance. I always said if he ever put it ALL together he could be another Cam Neeley. He needs, to keep that edge of Nastiness, I loved that he wanted to fight Gudas in last pre season game. I believe if he had a Mike Keenan type as a coach, you would see the second coming of Rick Tocchet . AV wants him to play nice.

    • Walt says:

      Bobby

      Did you see where that dirt bag Gudas got a six game suspension from the NHL for anther head shot. That dirty bastard is going to really hurt someone !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Bobby B says:

        Saw it Walt, its well deserved!!!! One thing I notice about Gudas, is that he loves to pearl harbor smaller players, but very rarely does he ever drop the gloves. His day of reckoning is coming, I really feel Kreider ( although I hate to see him be the one, THANKS AV) might realize that with no Mcllrath ( I am still seething!!) and no Glass, that he might be the one that his teammates look up to deliver payback . Physically he is a true freak of nature, his power and speed are unique, he has taken some boxing lessons. I am telling you, if we had a head coach that had some Bal**, I could see Kreider becoming a Rick Tocchet like player, 30-40 goals a year, with 200+ penalty minutes.

  10. Richter1994 says:

    30 goals, book it. This is the confident Kreider we have been waiting for. He finally realizes that he’s one of the leaders of the team, not a secondary player. Just dominant play by him the first 2 games and no reason to believe that this will not continue because it will.

  11. amy says:

    they finally put him with the right guys and Chris is confident as well see you later