New York Rangers Player of the Week (Week 10): Chris Kreider is heating up again

Chris Kreider is back on top after an impressive Week 10.

The New York Rangers have been up and down lately, but still look good in the standings. They also will end up having over a week off.

The NHL has postponed cross-border games through Christmas the earliest. The Rangers were supposed to play the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, their only game of the week, but it’ll now be played at a later date.

The Rangers were missing some star power this week with superstars Artemiy Panarin and Igor Shesterkin missing some time, but others stepped up to help the team get points in two out of their three games.

The best of them all? Chris Kreider.

Player of the week: LW Chris Kreider

@ ARI: 3 A
vs. VGK: 1 G, 1 A
Average Game Score: 1.89
Average defensive impact: 0.3

Kreider, the team’s leading scorer, had begun to cool off lately. His inconsistency has always been his biggest issue and a slow-down after such a great start to the season seemed to be inevitable. Fortunately for the Rangers and their fans, that didn’t last.

The Rangers needed their top dogs to step up and Kreider did just that. He was so good that he made his linemates great this week, too. The forwards of that top line were the team’s three best players.

Kreider is known for being a goal-scorer more than anything else, but this week was all about the playmaking. Just one of his five points was a goal.

He notched an impressive four assists-half of his total assists on the season-three of which game against the Arizona Coyotes.

Kreider showed off his elite play on the man-advantage: his goal as well as two of his assists came on the power play.

Surprisingly, Kreider’s defensive play has probably been the most impressive aspect of his game this season. He was solid in is own zone this week, once again.

Kreider really stepped up in Panarin’s absence and made it seem as though the top-six and top power play unit were whole. The hope is that he can maintain this level of play throughout the season.

Honorable Mention #1: C Mika Zibanejad

@ ARI: 1 G, 1 A
@ VGK: 1 G, 1 A
Average Game Score: 1.45
Average defensive impact: 0.06

It’s about time we see Zibanejad on here. The team’s top center had his best week of the season in Week 10, by far.

Zibanejad got it done as a goal-scorer and playmaker, notching two goals and two assists. One of his goals and one of his helpers came on the man-advantage. It’s taken a while for Zibanejad to get going, but this is a good sign.

The best part of Zibanejad’s play has been his excellent performance on the power play, something he showed this week. It’s important that he continues to be effective in that regard, but to also start being impactful at even-strength.

Honorable Mention #2: RW Kaapo Kakko

@ ARI: 2 G
Average Game Score: 1.13
Average defensive impact: 0.34

The kid is back on here. Kakko had another solid week, thanks in part to the excellent play of his linemates as well as Panarin’s absence.

Panarin’s injury allowed Kakko to get playing time on the team’s top power play unit, where he thrived.

One of his two goals came on the man-advantage and that game against the Coyotes was another multi-goal game for the youngster.

Kakko didn’t earn points in any other game this week, but played well. He was a top-four player on the team twice and did well in his own zone. It was great to see this top line finally do well together, both at even-strength and on the man-advantage.

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