Despite the trade rumors swirling around him, Chris Kreider has bounced back into his play by tallying up some goals.
The speedy forward doesn’t follow the trade rumors and hasn’t heard anything about the rumors until lately, therefore his only focus has been his on-ice play, and it has certainly paid off as of late.
Two Goals Put Him Ahead
Kreider has two goals in the last two games, putting his total at 13 for the season.
The blueshirt’s goal against the St.Louis Blues on Feb.25 was the game-winning goal, a quick wrist shot that beat Blues goalie Jake Allan and resulted in a Rangers victory. The shot, assisted by Oscar Lindberg and Kevin Hayes, gave the Rangers a confident surge, especially after shifty game.
The first goal in that same game came from the unlikely goal-scorer Tanner Glass, a tip in from d-man Dan Girardi. While Kreider is usually a goal-scorer, his last goal was on Feb.6, therefore both the goals had come from underdogs, though Glass’ goal really was the true surprise.
Kreider’s next goal came in the team’s next game against the Dallas Stars. The goal was the first of the game, in the second period, and was a power play tipped in goal from d-man Keith Yandle and Derick Brassard.
#NYR take the lead thanks to @ChrisKreider! #ItsAPowerPlayGoal pic.twitter.com/lWIKzi7ML9
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 27, 2016
The two goals were quite the reward for the forward who, in the wake of trade rumors, has still been putting his best play forward.
Kreider, though by looking at his goals and points you might not see it, has been putting forth great play. He has been using his speed to his advantage and has been taking as many shots on goal as he could make.
While he hasn’t been consistently on his game all season, he is a player who performs well under pressure and, with the playoffs in the near future, is a player that performs optimally in the post-season.
These two goals were fitting pay off for the hard work Kreider has been putting forward as of late.
Change in On-Ice Presence
Any one watching the Rangers on the ice as of late can notice the increase in the ice presence of Kreider. He went from being a less visible and back-seat player on the ice to being a very prominent player.
In the Rangers’ game against the Stars alone it was very apparent to see how much effort the speedster was putting into his game. He was taking every shot on goal he was able to, getting three shots on goal in the game, and was being a bit physical, grabbing two hits in the game.
Looks like Chris Kreider is finally getting on track…hopefully not his last game with #nyr
— OutsideTheGarden (@OTGHockey) February 27, 2016
The forward was named the Draft Kings’ player to watch because he has notched a point in three of four career games against Dallas. He proved he was a good choice by helping the team get ahead, and eventually grab the win courtesy of two other goals from defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Klein.
His presence has become more visible, probably due to an increased focus on the game. As a usually very confident and level-headed player it is expected that he might get into his own head and push himself towards his potential. He is a very self-activated player who, with the right amount of pressure, comes alive.
Headed into Monday’s Blue Jacket Matchup
With the trade rumors surrounding Kreider, as they would any player with the deadline coming up on Monday, there has been some speculation that the forward would be traded away before 3 p.m. on that final day.
Who's that? It's Chris Kreider. He's good. Don't trade him. Rangers up 1-0 on a Kreider power play goal.
— Sean Hartnett (@HartnettHockey) February 27, 2016
With the trade deadline coming, anything is possible, and any NHL team has had a situation of its own to prove that anything can happen when it comes to trades and there isn’t one situation that hasn’t happened before.
While some might be okay with seeing the young forward go in exchange for another player many fans firmly stand beside Kreider. He is a young winger filled with unlocked potential and post-season success who rises under pressure, with the right amount of pressure he will continue to grow into his full capabilities.
Many factors could come into play regarding whether or not Kreider will be a blueshirt on Monday, like financial situations and so on, the fact of whether or not Kreider can perform is not the issue. He is showing that as the season progresses, so does his play, and that he can become the player everyone sees in his future if he puts himself into his game completely.
As of now Kreider is putting all of his focus into his on-ice play and is pushing even closer towards his endless potential. These recent goals and points might just be coming up on the stats now but Kreider has always been playing his game, admittedly some times better than others, and will continue to put this same level of play forward as the season winds down.
Jumpman, Jumpman, Jumpman pic.twitter.com/rUfhY9pAhA
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 26, 2016