When an NHL player finishes up the season with a career-high in goals scored and points and gets voted on to the All-Star team, that’s a great season and for Rangers left winger Chris Kreider, 2021-22 was the pinnacle of his tenth season with the Blueshirts. What can we expect of Kreider as the new season’s training camp is only two weeks away?
Chris Kreider – career bounce back between 2020-21 to 2021-22
Comparing the Covid-19 dumpster fire season of 2020-21 to last season is truly like comparing landfill garbage to a classic art museum. For Chris Kreider, the seasons were truly night and day. In 20-21, Kreider could only muster 20 goals and 10 assists in 50 games before the lights were turned off on NHL rinks due to Covid-19. While many players suffered a digression in their overall playing performances in the face of Covid, Kreider seemed to be in a fog and it looked like this career with the Rangers had hit a peak.
One year removed from the Covid season disaster, Kreider found new life in his career and finished up last season with a career-high 52 goals and 25 assists for 77 total points. Kreider capped off his performance as the third highest goal scorer in the NHL and was voted onto the All-Star roster. Kreider also set Rangers team records with the most power play goals (26) and also topped off his achievements with 11 game winning goals last season- another Rangers team record. Kreider was nominated for both the King Clancy Award and the Bill Masterson Trophy in recognition of his breakout season.
What can we expect from Chris Kreider this upcoming season?
Rangers fans have every reason to expect that Kreider will top off his achievements from last year with an even better season and he has further motivation to fuel him this year as well-a final push to make the Stanley Cup finals. Falling just short of that goal in 2021-22 with a defeat in the Eastern Conference finals to the Tampa Bay Lightning will provide additional fire in the hearts of Chris Kreider and the rest of the Rangers as we head into a new season filled with hope and positive sentiments.
With the recent acquisition of Vincent Trocheck from the Carolina Hurricanes, a first line with Kreider and a second line with Trocheck on the ice could be a powerful offensive weapon for the Rangers – if that’s head coach Gerard Gallant’s vision of course. If Chris Kreider can stay healthy and produce like he did last season, the Rangers look to be the favorites in the Metro Division and a deep run through the playoffs seems very likely this year. Despite Jacob Trouba being named the Rangers new team captain, Kreider is one of the team’s true leaders and the Blueshirt youth movement will look to him for on-ice and bench leadership in 2022-23.