Humble Chris Kreider is Rangers all-time great playoff goal scorer
Chris Kreider is one of the most humble players to ever wear the New York Rangers jersey. However, on the ice he’s one of their fiercest competitors and in last night’s 5-1 romp over the New Jersey Devils he made some history.
With two power play goals, Kreider set two franchise records.
His first came at the 9:30 mark of the opening period to surpass legendary Blueshirts player Rod Gilbert for all-time playoff goal scoring leader with 35. Kreider added to that total in the third period surpassing Adam Graves to become number on the all-time playoff power play goal with his 14th.
Both tallies were deflections, which is something Kreider does even better in postgame interviews when asked about personal accomplishments.
We won Game 1,” Kreider said. “Game 2 is the hardest to win after you win Game 1.”
Chris Kreider a great Rangers playoff performer
The Rangers drafted Kreider 19th overall in 2009. Unlike many of the Rangers’ current first-round picks, he didn’t make his debut for a few years.
In what can only be described as foreshadowing, Kreider suited up in a Rangers uniform for the first time during the 2012 playoffs. He exploded on the scene with 5 goals and 7 points in 18 postseason games as a 20 year-old.
Similar to this current iteration of the Blueshirts, Kreider was trying to fight his way onto a team with established stars that just made a run to the Conference Final. That led to only playing in 23 games in 2012-13.
The following season, Kreider played in 66 games but was still taking a backseat to Rick Nash, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, and Mats Zuccarello. If you recall, the Rangers went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013-14.
Now, Kreider takes a backseat to no one.
Kreider really started coming into his own as a 25 year-old during the 2016-17 season where he recorded 28 goals and 53 points. He wouldn’t surpass those career-highs for five seasons, when he scored 52 goals and 77 points last year.
This season, the 31 year-old was solid with 36 goals and 54 points in 79 matches. Kreider also hit another milestone moving up to 5th all-time for goals scored by a Ranger with 265 surpassing Mark Messier (250), Camille Henry (256), and Vic Hadfield (262).
“He’s been great for me for two years,” Gerard Gallant said. “Kreids is a big-time player and to get those two goals on the power play tonight was huge for us. He works at that net front area all the time and he keeps doing it. When’s he hot like he is now, it’s important for our group.”
Kreider is posting very similar numbers to Adam Graves, who has his number retired in the Garden Rafters. One day when his career is over, we may have a serious discussion if number 20 belongs there too.