Chris Kreider’s top Rangers Moments
We know he may not be with the team much longer. The chances seem slimmer by the day that Chris Kreider will be a New York Ranger past the February 24th NHL trade deadline and while it is absolutely the right decision to trade him, it will sting for a while.
Kreider has been a beloved member of the Rangers ever since he burst onto the scene during the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Ottawa Senators and has had some huge moments on the game’s biggest stages. He’s a beloved member of the locker room, a top-six forward with game breaking speed and someone who it will be absolutely painful to see in another team’s jersey. Before we say goodbye, let’s look back and appreciate some of Kreider’s best moments as a New York Ranger. Chris, this one’s for you.
First professional goal – NYR vs. OTT – April 23rd, 2012
Taking a beautiful cross-ice feed from Derek Stepan, Kreider rips a wrist shot and beats Craig Anderson to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead late in the second period of Game Six. The 20-year-old Kreider, fresh out of Boston College pumps his fist emphatically as he scores the first of many goals in a New York Rangers uniform. For a team that badly needed scorers, despite a huge regular season where the team up 109 points, Kreider was an absolutely god send. From the first game with the Rangers, you could tell he was going to be a special player for this squad. The Rangers would go on to win the series in seven games and advance to the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals where Kreider would yet again score another memorable goal for the Rangers.
Game winning goal – NYR vs. WSH – April 28th, 2012
Just a few days later and Kreider scores another enormous goal for the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals opening game. With the game tied at one with about 13:00 minutes left in the third period, Kreider received a pass in stride from Derek Stepan, blew past defensemen Roman Hamrlik and Mike Green with some insane speed and stepped into a massive slapshot that goaltender Braden Holtby had absolutely no chance to stop. Kreider was well on his way to becoming a fan favorite. The goal would stand up as the game winner.
Power-play goal – NYR vs. NJD – May 14th, 2012
You want to make sure Rangers fans love you? Score a huge goal against the New Jersey Devils and make Martin Brodeur look like a fool. That’ll do it! After a sick feed from Artem Anisimov, Kreider again flashes that insane speed and hard wrist shot and extends the Rangers lead to 2-0 with a beautiful power-play goal. Kreider’s celebration after the goal shows again just how much this kid loves scoring goals and man just listen to that MSG crowds and those “MARTYYYYYYYY! MARTYYYYYYY!” chants after. What a moment for the kid from Massachusetts. The Rangers would ultimately end up losing that Eastern Conference Final series but the memories Kreider gave us Rangers fans from that 2012 playoff run are some we won’t ever forget.
Overtime Winner – NYR vs. BOS – May 23rd, 2013
In what would turn out to be John Tortorella’s final game as head coach of the New York Rangers, it’s only fitting that Kreider would score the huge overtime winner in Game Four against the Boston Bruins. It’s well known that Torts and Kreider didn’t seem to have the best relationship when he was the coach of the Rangers. Down 3-0 to the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Rangers were just one goal away from extending the series or going home for the summer. Kreider gave them that jolt of hope when he redirected a Rick Nash pass right past Tuukka Rask, immediately setting the Garden on fire. The Rangers would ultimately end up losing the series in five games and Tortorella would be gone soon after, but man, what a sick goal and cool memory from a 2013 season where the team underperformed.
Hat Trick – NYR vs. VAN – November 30th, 2013
Out of all the Chris Kreider memories on this list, this might be my personal favorite. Let’s set the scene: Alain Vigneault, fired in the offseason by the Canucks is now the Rangers head coach. John Tortrella, fired by the Rangers in the offseason, is now the Canucks head coach. The two head coaches seemingly swapped for each other and Torts’ return to face an energized Chris Kreider were all talked about by the media in the days leading up to this matchup. Kreider did not disappoint. The first goal is typical Chris Kreider: hard wrist shot after a burst of speed. The second goal is another Kreider staple: a net-front deflection. The third: yet another beautiful deflection. Kreider drops one knee and pumps his fist as he celebrates his first career hat trick. On that night, Alain Vigneault’s Rangers defeated John Tortorella’s Canucks 5-2 and Kreider cemented himself in Rangers lore once again.
Scores to force Overtime – NYR vs. MTL – May 22nd, 2014
The celebration after this goal says it all. In Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals with under a minute left, Kreider with one of his signature deflections and just a little luck, ties the game for the Rangers and sends the Garden crowd into an absolute frenzy! The Rangers would go on to lose this game but win the series sending them to their first Stanley Cup Final in 20 years. This goal was just one of many memorable NYR goals on the way to the cup final and will forever be one of my favorite Chris Kreider moments.
Scores to force Overtime – NYR vs. WSH – May 8th, 2015
Scores to force overtime again? Scores to force overtime again! With the Rangers down 3-1 in the best of seven 2015 Eastern Conference Semifinals, they had under two minutes to save their season. After a great turn around feed from Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider whips the puck past Braden Holtby from down on one knee and ties game five. The Garden crowd goes haywire and just minutes later in overtime, Ryan McDonagh would blast home a shot to get the series to 3-2. In Game 7, Stepan would be the overtime hero and would score to send the Rangers to the Eastern Conference Final for the second straight season. Kreider kickstarted a comeback for the ages and without that goal, the Rangers 2015 season comes crashing to a halt. What. A. Goal.
(Just in Case) Goodbye, Chris.
There have been many more goals in Chris Kreider’s career. He has been a staple for the New York Rangers since the 2012 playoffs and has been a top-six winger that can be relied upon for around 25 goals and 40 to 50 points a season. He stole our hearts with game breaking speed, some of the most clutch goals in Rangers history and his wit during interviews and with teammates. Chris we are all going to miss you and from all of us at foreverblueshirts.com and Rangers fans everywhere: Thank you and good luck with your next club!