PHILADELPHIA – The road trip is not over. The Rangers still have an away game Saturday in Philadelphia against the Flyers to worry about, but the West Coast part of it is behind them now, and after 10 up-and-down days, they are returning to the East with a 2-2- division of the four matches in the Pacific time zone and remains anchored in the overall third place in the league with a record of 24-10-4 and 52 points.
And according to Chris Kreider, they have learned something about their organizational depth. It is well.
“It felt a bit like a step back, two steps forward, in many ways,” Kreider said after Thursday’s 3-0 win over San Jose. “It would have been nice to come back from this road trip with one or two points more, but at the same time I think we learned a lot about our group. Organizational depth is important during a season of 82 games, so I do not think I can talk enough about what a great job the guys have done once they get into the ranks, whether or not that’s what you know [Tim] Gettinger, [Jonny] Brodzinski and Morgan [Barron] or overtly [Anthony] Greco. ”
Greco, the native Queens, played an exciting match in his Rangers debut against San Jose. He entered the lineup after Alexis Lafreniere entered the COVID-19 protocol before the match. The fourth line, consisting of Hartford call Gettinger, Barron and Brodzinski, had another solid effort in their third match together.
Kreider, who scored his 199th and 200th career goals in Thursday’s victory, was particularly impressed with the NHL debut of 20-year-old defender Braden Schneider, who was more than solid in his 14:49 ice time, scoring four hits, two blocked shots, three shots on goal and his first professional goal that made it 2-0 early in the third period.
“You see the kid tonight,” Kreider said with a proud smile. “He played well, stepped in, played great for us. So I think everyone has done a really, really good job of coming in and adding energy and playing the way they have been asked to play. That. is really important for us going forward. ”
Kreider was asked which milestone was most important to him, his goal number 200, which came in an empty goal with 27.3 seconds left, or his 199th, which happened to be the first shorthanded goal of his career.
“That shorthanded goal,” he said. “I’ve been wanting it for a while now. I’ve almost screwed it up.”
Kreider, who was selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game on Thursday, was worried he was choosing the wrong corner to shoot at against San Jose goalkeeper Adin Hill. But the puck went in, to his 22nd goal, and a 1-0 lead at 10:25 of the first period. His 23 goals had him drawn in third place in the league when he came on Friday.
Schneider scored his first NHL goal with his parents present to see it. He spent his time in the availability of the postgame medium unable to suppress a smile.
“All day I was pretty nervous,” Schneider said. “I could not really sit still. My nap was not too good. I came to the rink and the same, I had nerves and I was just trying to stay in the moment. And when I got on the ice for warming up, it became a little bit ‘genuine. And then I do not think it hit me before my first shift to the game. And then I felt that after that I settled down and I became a little bit more confident as the match went on.’ ‘
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