SEATTLE — Chris Kreider is currently sitting top of the National Hockey League with five goals in power play after he methodically jumped two goals at the front of the net in the Rangers’ win over the Blue Jackets on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Making himself a big target and finding the right position in front of the opposing team’s net has seemingly become second nature to the longest-running goalkeeper, who has scored each of his player-favorite goals so far this season from around goal curls. .
In his first two goals in the third inning, power-playing Friday, Kreider first helped guide the ball into the attacking zone before slotting into the net, with Artemi Panarin pinching him to redirect easily over Columbus’ goalkeeper glove. Elvis Marslikins.
Kreider and Merslikens then began to untie each other, and when Kreder buried another in the same manner while playing 4 on 3 later in the period, he turned right to the visiting goalkeeper with some choice words. This is just a crider.
Although the 30-year-old winger hasn’t magically transformed into one of the deadliest frontrunners in the NHL. Kreider started working on it a long time ago.
“[At] At the college level, the coaches were very adamant about me trying to play that position,” he said after the win on Friday. “I had Greg Brown in [Boston College]And he was very confident that it should be my turn as a professional. At some point in the first year, I actually played a little point in the power game. Yes, just drop the pucks. But it was a little different, a lot different, and more play on the line.
“When I became a pro it was more of trying to catch the eyes of the guards, trying to make a mess up front. Jumping standoffs, putting pucks low. I mean, I owe a lot of credit to [former Rangers associate coach and current Capitals assistant] Scott Arnell, who worked with me every day, was reviewing videos with me.
“It’s something I’ve been working on, I’ll keep trying to work on because I think that’s a huge part of my game. I feel like I can help this unit win balls and keep checking and make a mess for them.”
It wasn’t until recently that Kreider allowed his pure frontal presence. Even when Alan Vinault coached the Rangers from 2013-18, Kreider was still experienced. During Vigneault’s tenure, Kreider averaged six power play goals per season. Under former coach David Quinn, Kreider saw a jump in his production for man advantage and set 11 records last season.
By sharing Unit Play the Force with players like Panarin and Norris Award winner Adam Fox, Kreider appears to have raised his game.
“It has been a different situation every year over the course of my career,” Kreider said. “A lot of times she’s trying to catch the guards’ eyes and trying to get tips. They draw a lot of attention around the perimeter, as they should. Their ability to hold onto balls and create fairways. So they’re constantly telling me where they want to be and where they want me to be.”
And as I ask questions and try to introduce my wand, then they can basically use me as a backboard. Often times I could close my eyes and [Panarin] He might still hit me on the stick, same with Foxy, Mika [Zibanejad] And [Ryan Strome].
“It’s about all of us trying to get on the same page so the disc can move quickly and we can have these opportunities.”