What to expect from Chris Kreider next season
Chris Kreider has the capability to be the best player on the ice every single shift. His strength and shot should make him the best New York Rangers forward. His size and physicality make him an asset on the defensive side of the puck as well. Add in his speed and we are now talking about a 200-foot player, right? Not exactly.
Kreider is seen as a very gritty, very talented fan favorite. On paper, his skill set leaves little to be desired. Unfortunately, the game is not played on paper. By no means does a stat line of 28 G, 25 A, 53 P and a +6 rating symbolize a bad season. As a matter of fact, the Blueshirts saw a career year from number 20 last season and at times, it looked like Kreider put it all together. But it still begs the question; who is Chris Kreider and what can the New York Rangers look to get out of him?
Keys to his game:
As stated previously, the skill level of Kreider is very hard to match. One could make the argument he is the most talented member of the New York Rangers. However, Kreider is about to enter his sixth NHL season and fans still wonder when he will take that next step into stardom. For some reason, he has not done so yet and quite frankly it is from inconsistency. He just isn’t the same player, not just season to season or day to day, but shift to shift.
His talent level should bring him to 30 goals every year. Last year was his first year of more than 21 goals. Rangers fans saw it in the playoffs, the expectation and reality have been far apart for Kreider. In the postseason, Kreider became very quiet and often times was not skating at full tilt. Late in game five against Montreal and in game six versus Ottawa is where Kreider showed his talents and it led to production.
Dreams and reality:
With the loss of perennial 20 goal scorer Derek Stepan, the Rangers will look for several players to take the ‘next step’ and Kreider is one of those players. Should he continue to grow an expectation of 30 goals is realistic.
A dream would be that Kreider puts it all together and amasses a 65+ point season. The team has seen plenty of clutch moments with Kreider. Big moments yield big expectations, and it’s time to live up to the expectations.
The most important thing is that Kreider grows as a player. Should he grow and finally become consistent, then he will become a dangerous player for this team. He needs to use his skills every shift for the Rangers to have a productive first line.