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Jan
18

The Rangers miss Chris Kreider

January 18, 2018, by
Cam Ward, Chris Kreider

AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Chris Kreider has been a pretty interesting Ranger to date. He burst on the scene in the 2012 playoffs, then struggled to stay on the NHL roster. His mix of size, speed, and skill is difficult for other teams to match up against, and it has created some nightmares for the opposition. Yet since he doesn’t put up 50 goals and 100 points, he’s deemed a failure to some (which is asinine).

Kreider is usually good for 25 goals and roughly 45 points per season, and it’s within the realm of possibility that he eclipsed 30 goals this season. His contributions go beyond the counting stats though. He’s a constant net front presence and one of the few Rangers that has some snarl to his game. His speed and ability to get to the front of the net creates space for his teammates.

From ownthepuck.blogspot.com

His ability to create both with and without the puck shows in his possession numbers as well. Kreider is a solid first line winger who found solid chemistry on what could have been a dangerous first line with Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich. Injuries derailed it, and now the Rangers are feeling the struggle.

Since Kreider’s blood clot/rib resection, the Rangers have played some pretty poor hockey. It admittedly did start a few games before the injury with three straight games of 30+ shots allowed, but since then the Rangers have been pummeled even more. It wasn’t until the Flyers game when they stopped allowing 30+ shots on goal, a run of 10 games, 7 without Kreider.

The case can be made that the Rangers would have played like this with Kreider, since they did play like poop for the three games prior. However it was in January when the Rangers really started to show their weaknesses. They barely beat two horribad teams (Buffalo, Arizona) and got crushed in the others.

Without Kreider, teams don’t have to worry about the speedster that stretches the defense and really can’t be forced off the puck. Sure, there’s Michael Grabner, but he’s not playing in the top-six. Kreider was that guy for the Rangers who balanced out the lineup.

Much like when Zibanejad was out of the lineup, the Rangers are struggling without one of their top line skaters. I guess it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but whereas the Rangers struggled without Zibanejad because of roster construction issues, they struggle without Kreider because his skill set is missed. The Rangers don’t have the matchup advantage anymore. It’s something they won’t have until he returns, too.

"The Rangers miss Chris Kreider", 5 out of 5 based on 7 ratings.
Categories : Uncategorized

36 comments

  1. Richter1994 says:

    Kreider should be a match up nightmare for every team in the league, that is, when he plays the game he should play.

    He has the unique combo of size and speed but he has a tendency not to use them on a regular basis. It’s not reasonable to think a player is going to “bring it” 100% of the season, but how about 75-80%? I don’t think Chris does that, not by a long shot.

    That being said, his mere presence on the ice “forces” opponents to pay attention to him whether Chris is playing well or not. That opens up lanes for other Rangers to navigate on the ice, that should create opportunities that would not otherwise not be there, which is what Dave is saying now.

    The Rangers have been fairly lucky over the past couple of years with the lack of long-term injuries but now they are getting them with a thinly depth Ranger team. This alone should make them sellers at the trade deadline but these are the Rangers and they do what they do to make the playoffs. The EXCEPTION is that the “futures for rental” trades are a thing of the past. Thank God.

    • Walt says:

      Richter

      “The EXCEPTION is that the “futures for rental” trades are a thing of the past. Thank God”.

      Let’s hope that is the case Paisan!!!!!!

      • Richter1994 says:

        I think so my friend. The Duclair for Yandle or #1 pick for whomever is a guaranteed “not happening” type of thing. That we do know.

        The million dollar question is what trade direction the Rangers go in while still in a playoff spot. That we do not know. I think they stand pat and try and make the playoffs. Other fans think they will sell anyway. 50/50 IMO as I can see either direction happening, meaning that I would not be surprised by either direction taken.

        • Walt says:

          Richter

          Like I said the other day, the next two weeks will dictate what we do, because the schedule is going to be tough, we are missing Kreider, Hayes is hurt, our defense is questionable?

          I see us as being a seller, and starting over again!!!!!

          • James1090 says:

            My position is you don’t trade a 1st round pick unless you are getting back a good young player like a Nylander or Marner. I’m not against rentals as long as it isn’t at a huge cost.

          • Richter1994 says:

            We will see what happens bro. Soon enough.

            • James1090 says:

              Rangers involved in anything new? I’ve heard rumors that they may be sellers at the deadline.

              • Richter1994 says:

                As far as I know, they ARE listening to offers for players like McD and Zuc. But that means that they will probably get traded ONLY if they get blown away by the offers for these 2 players.

                Players like Nash, Grabner, and Holden? Definitely in play.

                But I have nothing concrete other than Grabner may be the most likely to be traded. His value is very high right now.

            • James1090 says:

              If I was Rangers management I would be trading most if not all of the UFA’s. I would then trade either McDonagh or Zuccarello at the draft. Those 2 have very reasonable contracts and you could probably get a nice return for them.

  2. Jerry says:

    Kreider lack one very important aspect, consistency. He seems to play the game he is capable of far too infrequently.

    Maybe a new head coach would be able to get Chris to find consistency and thus become the true power forward that he has the potential to be…….. Just sayin’

  3. Mancunian Candidate says:

    Kreider’s impact on NYR’s overall game has been underestimated for years by fans. The guy is a quality player who stretches the ice & opposing defenses in a way that only one other Ranger can—Grabner. His physicality is the best that this team has to offer. There’s no other forward on this team with the net-front presence and courage that Kreider possesses.

    And for all the complaints about how he doesn’t utilize his talent—by my reckoning he’s the 5th best player in his 2009 draft class, and he was drafted in the middle of the round. Kreider’s certainly one of the Rangers’ best draft picks in the post lockout era. He’s only truly surpassed by guys like Taveras and Hedman; guys like Brayden Schenn, Nazem Kadri, Oliver Ekman-Larsson are one-hit wonders compared to Kreider’s steady statistical advancement throughout his career. Kreider’s injury is the final nail in this Ranger campaign, I believe the loss of his skill set is impossible for NYR to replace.

    • Mikeyyy says:

      +1

    • Richter1994 says:

      MC, he doesn’t use his talent. he should be a top 20 NHL player, which he is not.

      That means he’s not utilizing all his talents. Should be a regular 30 goal scorer and close to 60 pts annually.

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        Richter—we agree on a lot, but this time I’m Not buying what you’re selling. Kreider is already one of the top 20 in the league at his position. He’d be a US Olympian if the Olympics were still on the table for the NHL.

        The guy changes the shape of a defense with his speed. Losing him means only Grabner & Nash (on a good day) have that capability for the Rangers. I truly don’t understand the complaints about him: he’s improved his production every year he’s been on the team. Defensively he’s considered mediocre, yet few Ranger forwards have had better possession numbers over the Vigneault era. He’s got no dangle in his game, but still manages 25+ goals a season. He answers the bell for teammates—an utter rarity on a Vigneault Rangers team—and has as good a net-front presence as the Rangers have had since Adam Graves. The team has been dismal since his injury. All in all, his absence has been huge, and if this doesn’t prove the guy’s worth to his detractors then nothing will. Instead of wringing hands over what Kreider could be, maybe it’s time to appreciate what he actually is—a damn good LW.

        • Richter1994 says:

          We agree on all you said my friend.

          I think where you and others are misinterpreting is that I think he should be in the top echelon of the league as a whole, not just his position.

          The guy is unique, similar as a comparison to Ovi, meaning Ovi is a beast but can skate. Not too many players in that category.

          Where CK is lacking is between the ears. His hockey smarts is not great. If that were better then he would be better.

          I hate to bring it up again, but I think CK is not enamored by the guy he’s playing for. That should not be an excuse but there are times where CK is totally invisible. You may not like that statement but it’s true. He waited until the 3rd period of the last game of the Ottawa series to show what he can be. That’s not acceptable.

          I appreciate everything about him, I just have a higher expectation of him because I think that there’s more in there than he;s showing.

          • roadrider says:

            Ovi >> Kreider. And they’re different players. Kreider can score on rushes but is best when providing a net-front presence for screens and deflections. Ovi is a sniper.

            Agree that CK’s hockey IQ is not the best although he’s much better without the puck than he was earlier in his career. I think that’s largely a result of having to learn the game at the NHL level.

            Totally disagree that he tanks because he doesn’t like AV. He may or may not hold the coach in high esteem – I have no idea and, all due respect, neither do you. CK does become invisible for long stretches but I don’t think its because he’s “waiting”. Its because he’s simply not getting it done because he isn’t really a creator or play maker. He depends on the stretch passes being there for him or the opportunities (especially on the PP) to go to his net front game.

            He is one of the few Rangers that plays with an edge. I mean Zucc does at times but he is more annoying than scary to the opposition.

        • Richter1994 says:

          MC, CK was 75th in the league in pts per game and 60th in pts per 60 in 2016-17. Pts per 60 there at least 15 (I didn’t count the players that missed a lot of the season) LWs ahead of him.

          That’s good but not elite which points out what I’m saying. And last year was his best year by far, pts wise.

      • Stevem says:

        A Clark Gillies type of player I would say bud

        • Richter1994 says:

          A more talented Clark Gillies my friend.

          See the difference is that Gillies exceeded his talent.

          • Stevem says:

            Smashed Hospodar’s face to absolute pieces

            • Richter1994 says:

              The only time I rooted for an Isle was when Gillies beat the crap out of Dave Schultz. It was such a bad beating that Schultz’s teammates had to jump in.

              That was very satisfying.

              • Stevem says:

                Agreed bud. Unlike our guys who didn’t jump in for Rolfe when Shultz destroyed him lol

              • Richter1994 says:

                Brad Park did an interview saying that Rolfe told him not to jump in because he would have gotten thrown out of a key playoff game for 3rd man in.

                Rolfe said he never said that. And if you watch the tape, Rolfe never said anything because he was too busy getting his butt kicked.

            • James1090 says:

              I wasn’t old enough to watch hockey in the 70’s and 80’s, but it seems like rivalries meant a lot more back then. teams literally hated each other. You don’t really see that anymore.

              • Richter1994 says:

                OMG, Rangers-Flyers, major brawls. Same with the Bruins.

                I mean there were fights where there was blood all over the ice. Looking back, some of it was down right scary.

                What they record as “hits” today would not even be registered back in the day. The crosschecking penalties last night were regular non-penalties back then.

  4. Mikeyyy says:

    To put it in perspective this isn’t struggling. It’s a bump in the road.

    I was there during Renneys Rangers.

    Those rosters were a veritable list of who’s who was in he nhl.

  5. Odielishous says:

    Great post dave. Real controversial topic. I love how the same 5 guys are always posting on here first. Richter are you really just dave posting on his own posts under a pyseudo name. This blog is going places!

    Anyway….. how about his hands and/or lack there of? How about his elite level skill set but consistently disappears for weeks at a time? How about that rocket of a wrist shot he possesses but can’t hit a barn with it? Any one else see these points about him or are there only fan boys on here who just agree with dave and ride his coat tail?

  6. Spozo says:

    Kreider is the only true “shoot first guy on this team”. That is what is missed the most in my opinion?

  7. avsucks says:

    Kreide has a habit of playing like he is capable, and going invisible, I wish that wasnt true but it is,

  8. Larry says:

    The way Kreide plays, he wouldn’t make a big difference. He only plays 50-60% of the time.
    .

  9. RobFriedman says:

    The next four games will determine the fate of this team. Plain and simple.