Rangers star ‘could’ve had someone else’ pick up hats on lawn after playoff hat trick

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Washington Capitals at New York Rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Kreider is such an unassuming star in the NHL that even his New York Rangers teammate Jacob Trouba was surprised how down to earth he is after a recent off-ice moment went viral on social media.

There’s a photograph showing Kreider picking up hats off his lawn after the Rangers returned home following their dramatic Game 6 victory in Raleigh that eliminated the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Second Round.

Kreider, of course, fueled the 5-3 comeback win with a natural hat trick in the third period, that included the tying and winning goals. Hence, fans tossed hats on to his lawn in celebration.

Trouba, though, was a bit incredulous that Kreider cleaned up his own yard.

“I can’t believe he picked them up by himself,” Trouba said laughing after practice Monday. “He could’ve had someone else pick them up.”

But that wasn’t all that made the Rangers captain chuckle.

“Then he had his headphones on, which I thought was strange, but …”

Related: Chris Kreider cemented himself as all-time great Rangers playoff performer

Chris Kreider helps lead Rangers into Eastern Conference Final against Panthers

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes
Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

All joking aside, Kreider has played a huge role in helping the Rangers get through the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The 33-year-old forward has scored a team-high seven goals, which is tied for fourth in the NHL. And that hat trick in Game 6 in Carolina raised the Blueshirts from the abyss back into the conference final for the second time in three seasons.

This will be the fifth conference final Kreider has played in with the Rangers. As a rookie fresh out of Boston College, he played in the 2012 East final, when the Rangers lost in six games to the New Jersey Devils. He was a part of the 2014 team that defeated the Canadiens in six games to reach the Stanley Cup Final, where the Blueshirts lost in five to the Los Angeles Kings. And in 2015, the Rangers dropped Game 7 at home to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

That’s all part of Kreider’s 117 games of Stanley Cup Playoff experience. As are his 47 postseason goals, a Rangers record.

Simply he’s an invaluable players, and leader, for the Rangers right now, as they try to win their first Stanley Cup championship in 30 years.

Oh, and he’s pretty good at lawn maintenance too.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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