Kreider Continues to Cement His Legacy As an All-Time Ranger

Photo: Vincent Carchietta

Mark Messier. Wayne Gretzky. Chris Kreider?

That is right, folks. Kreider, 33, joined Hockey Hall of Famers and legends Messier and Gretzky as the only Ranger to score a natural hat trick in a period during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Ranger fans certainly remember when Messier notched his. It was game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 1994 against the New Jersey Devils when Messier guaranteed that his team would win the hockey game and he went out and scored three goals in the third period to give his team a 4-2 victory.

Gretzky picked up his hat trick in Game 4 of the first round of the 1997 postseason against the Florida Panthers. He scored all three of his goals in the second period.

To say that Kreider’s hat trick came at the perfect time would be an understatement. Going into the third period down 3-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 6, Kreider came out, put the team on his back, and willed them to the series win with a hat trick and a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals thanks to a 5-3 victory.

All Kreider has done in these playoffs is continue to cement his status as one of the greatest Rangers of all-time. For starters, he has done it by being a leader.

Kreider may not be the team captain, but he certainly acts like one. Prior to the start of the third period in Game 6, Vincent Trocheck told reporters after the game that Kreider said that he is “going to get one”.

That is something that a true leader says. That is something that a leader feels.

Kreider felt like he had a goal in him, so he told his teammates that he would go out and put one in. Not only did he put one in, he put three in.

In his postgame press conference, Rangers’ head coach Peter Laviolette marveled at what Kreider did last night in his team’s series-clinching win.

“That is just a monster third period. I mean, he put it on his back,” head coach Peter Laviolette said. “He really delivered. 

“There was more than him, but at the end of the day we need to score goals, and this is what he does, and this is what he did tonight. It was a pretty unbelievable performance.” 

Rangers’ captain Jacob Trouba echoed Laviolette’s thoughts after the game.

“He took over the game,” Jacob Trouba said of Kreider. “A lot of guys in here call him ‘the Horse,’ and that’s what he is, and he took off in that period and took it over.” 

Secondly, Kreider continues to score goals at the most important time of the year. As of this writing (Friday, May 17), he is first on the team with seven goals, second on the team with 29 shots, and fourth on the team with 10 points.

Scoring in the playoffs when it matters most is nothing new for Kreider. Kreider is the Rangers’ all-time leader in playoff goals with 47, and if he plays the way he did last night moving forward, that number will continue to go up. 

Lastly, one can tell that he just bleeds Rangers’ red, white, and blue. The way he celebrates with his teammates after he or one of them scores, the way he greets them after winning a game, or how he speaks to reporters after the game all show that he knows what it means to be a New York Ranger.

This is a player that has spent his entire career with the Rangers and has done just about everything except win the Cup. Kreider, just like he has been doing since he joined the team during the first round of the 2012 postseason, will always do everything and more to try and make that happen.

In this week's episode, we have on guest HockeyStatMiner to discuss NYR's Salary cap situation, potential moves and more.How to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITRThanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Guest HockeyStatMiner
  2. Many Directions, One Goal
  3. A Heartbreaking End, Offseason Begins
  4. Game 5 Recap : Guest Joe Fortunato
  5. Game 4 Recap : Breakout Breakdown

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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