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10-30-2013, 07:49 AM
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BrooklynRangersFan
Change is good.
 
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It's about time for a Kreider thread

(I'm actually kind of surprised no one else has started one already.)

What we have seen from Kreider so far is why he was untouchable in the Nash trade. Yes, it's taken him a while to get going (and there is always the risk that he backslides - knock wood it doesn't happen), but when he is playing the way he has been the last few games, he is a true difference maker. The Rangers have had precious few of them on offense since '97. Nash can be one when he's healthy. Jagr was one his first few years here. Other than that, we haven't had a big strong, talented forward who can impose his will on the game.

In a way, the issue with Chris has always been that will - and his inability to find it. Some of it may have come from his early history at a fairly uncompetitive prep program. Some of it may (likely IMO) may have come from Torts's short leash. Some of it may simply have come from his natural demeanor.

What's been particularly encouraging about Kreider this year is not just the play we've seen over the last four games, but the steady progression that got him there. I've watched about half of the Pack games this season and I can tell you that this level of play is not new; he's been building towards this ever since his last day or so in camp. He was showing some more confidence at the very end of the preseason, but it really seemed to be his demotion that gave him a wake up call and enabled him to realize that he could be a force nearly every shift. And you can see the results now in his focus, how he closes in on the forecheck, how he hits with purpose, how he parks himself in front of the net and will not allow himself to be moved... heck, even his puckhandling and especially his passing is crisper.

I wanted him to get another weekend of games or two at the AHL level to make sure this change had "stuck" with him before they called him up - I was thinking the Montreal game at the earliest. But injuries forced the situation and, thankfully, it appears he hasn't missed a beat. This team still needs tinkering. It could still use more offense, it could use more speed, it could simply use more players suited to playing AV's style. And Chris needs to keep up this level of play. But he is a core piece. This is a guy you build around.

Keep it up, CK!

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