Chris Kreider, Capable of More

Chris Kreider can do more for the NYR (Paul J. Bereswill)

Chris Kreider can do more for the NYR (Paul J. Bereswill)

For a moment, let’s forget the disappointing regular season by Chris Kreider.

Yes, I said it … Disappointing.

In 66 games, he scored 17 goals, had 20 assists (37 points) and a 55.2 Corsi.

Sure, the Corsi is respectable, but 17 goals? And just 20 assists while on a line with Derek Stepan and Rick Nash? To me, that’s disappointing.

Fast forward to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and we saw exactly the style that suits Kreider — speed, hard straight-ahead skating, and creating space and opportunities around him. In 15 playoff games, he had 5 goals and 8 assists — nearly a point a game. His Corsi suffered because of the first two games Stanley Cup Finals (48.7), but his numbers are exactly why Glen Sather drafted him 19th overall in 2009.

That’s what Alain Vigneault loves about Kreider. Conversely, it was not John Tortorella’s style of hockey.

When Vigneault unleashed Daniel Sedin in the 2010-2011 season, the year the Vancouver Canucks took the Boston Bruins to seven games in the Stanley Cup Finals, he potted 41 goals, had 63 assists and a Corsi of 56.2.

If the Rangers can consistently keep their legs under them throughout the season — conditioning was their enemy in the Stanley Cup Finals when they couldn’t find the extra bursts of energy to keep the Kings at bay — Kreider, in my opinion, is capable of better numbers. And no longer will he disappoint.

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