With Artemi Panarin going on his leave of absence from the Rangers last week, there was almost a doomsday mentality around the franchise that the season would quickly go down the drain.
With the Rangers superstar out of the picture indefinitely due to the Russian smear campaign the Rangers needed someone to step up and carry the load. The task was even more daunting considering one of the other top Rangers, Mika Zibanajed had been unable to return to form.
Enter Chris Kreider
Now, it is well documented with 30 on Broadway the general thoughts on Kreider’s typical play but there is simply no denying that he has stepped up in a tremendous way. On the scoresheet, Kreider has largely been a force netting 5 goals (10 for the season) since the first game without Panarin which is putting him on pace to to surpass career highs in production based on the shortened season.
Overall on the ice, Kreider has been largely visible in just about every aspect. For a player that is looked at as a leader and to be the leader, he has risen to the challenge and is helping keep the Rangers floating in tumultuous waters. With Panarin down, players like Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil are getting more valuable and productive ice time with better line pairings and utilization. Zibanejad himself is starting to find the score sheet of late in the assist department as well. When you pair that with the play that Kreider is bringing its no denying that the effects roll up and down the lineup.
Is this now the time where Kreider fully engages and brings his talents night in and night out? For the short term returns, it appears to be just about on that track. If his play continues it would be of no surprise for the “C” to be firmly planted above his heart.Embed from Getty Images