Chris Kreider has not missed a beat since joining the New York Rangers fresh out of college.
Since coming to New York, the soon to be 21 year old has seen his ice time steadily increase and his play continue to get stronger. Kreider scored the game winning goal in game 1 against the Washington Capitals, taking advantage of a perfect lead pass from Derek Stepan and blasting one past Braden Holtby.
He later assisted on the Brad Richards third period goal to make it 3-1.
“I guess I had a little time to think,” Kreider said when talking about his goal. “I thought I’m tired, I’m just going to try to get it on net.”
The goal was Kreider’s second goal of the playoffs and first one at Madison Square Garden. The rookie described it as “surreal experience.” Adding later, “I got goosebumps.”
Fellow teammate Brad Richards was impressed by what the young forward has been able to accomplish in his short time with the Rangers.
“To be honest it is surprising (what Chris Kreider is accomplishing),” Richards said after the game. “This is a pretty high level he jumps into, but it shows his learning curve and his hockey IQ. He shows something every night. Let him keep going, doing that every night, making big plays and doing what he's doing.”
Kreider now has three points (2 goals, 1 assist) in six playoff games and seen plenty of ice time in key games.
Head coach John Tortorella said that he did show Kreider some of the Rangers’ concepts, but has really been just going out there and playing.
“There are a number of things that we’ll end up working with him on but this isn’t the time of year to do that,” he said. “We just want his instincts and speed, and then just go out there and play. As I said the other night, forget about what he’s doing on the ice, the mental part of the game as far as him trying to make a difference every shift it’s really good stuff for a young kid.”