Thank You, Chris Kreider!
The Rangers extended their winning streak to eight in Ottawa. Afterwards, you begin your process of breaking down the game to look for some individuals who had a major impact on the ice. In this particular game, it happened to be someone who sat out for 17 minutes of the 65+ minute battle. Yes, that player is Chris Kreider.
CK20 scored the Rangers only goal, a Powerplay goal no less by providing a great screen in front and getting his stick down for the deflection past Craig Anderson. More importanly, it was what Kreider did away from the offensive zone that stood out.
In the 2nd period, Senators forward Zach Smith delivered a late hit to Derek Stepan, and it didn’t go unnoticed. Kreider immediately challenged Smith and delivered a few good punches to Smith’s head.
Over the last several years, the Rangers have been much maligned for their lack of intimidating players, giving opponents the “liberty” to take a run at the Rangers superstars. This issue has been further compounded with the exodus of Tanner Glass. It was a nice seeing one of the Rangers most skilled players give of himself to fight for the safety of his linemate.
Here are some quotes from the NYPOST about Kreider taking action:
“I definitely think he did a good job protecting his teammate. You don’t see that much of that anymore — it’s more focused on playing right now — but at times you need guys to step up.” – Henrik Lundqvist
“To see [Kreider] do what he did, it’s a good moment for me and Chris. It means a lot to me that he’s willing to step in there and stand up for me. He played extremely well today, and I give him kudos for what he did there, too.” – Derek Stepan
In something that may not have been so glaringly obvious, Kreider also gave a tremendous effort in the overtime period on a back check to prevent a golden opportunity for the Sens to end the game. Nice to see the youngster improving his defense, something that will make him an even better player for years to come.
Still, the most important thing he did was say with some fiery fists, “you will not take cheap shots at my teammates!” That’s something this website truly appreciates.
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