What Alain Vigneault said today after practice (On Derick Brassard, Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider)

Alain VigneaultAlain Vigneault spoke with the media today following the Rangers practice (NYR):

  • Does the team have a higher gear to hit, “we are working hard and playing against a good team and it’s playoff hockey and not a lot separates the teams. To think that we can step on the ice and dominate I don’t think is possible. Pitt has elite players, balance up front, a goalie who has won a Cup and is one of the top guys in the league. It’s a tough battle and we are going out there and trying our best.”

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The beast that was Chris Kreider last night and how he needs to play

RangersChris Kreider had two assists, a plus three rating and 3 shots on goal last night in the Rangers OT win over Columbus.

Derek Stepan said that Kreider was a “beast” against Columbus and that he is “really starting to hit his stride.” (MSG)

Two weeks ago, Larry Brooks wrote that the Rangers won’t be able to survive in the playoffs if Kreider plays like he did against the Bruins and Caps when his “speed, size and power” were lacking. (NY Post)

Brooks wrote after last night’s game that Kreider has “elevated: his game over the past week. (NY Post)

Stepan added after the game that Kreider is “phenomenal” and learning how to use his body effectively on the ice. Stepan added that “he’s a big part of our hockey team.” (NY Post)

Kreider has a four game point streak and has one goal and four assists in that time. (Rangers Game Notes)

Chris Kreider has hit 20 goals/his goal scoring season

KreiderChris Kreider has reached 20 goals for the first time in his career and has set new career highs in goals (20), assists (20) and points (40) this season.

Kreider said last night that he doesn’t set many personal goals for himself. (MSG)

By month, Kreider has scored:

  • October (9 games): 2 goals
  • November (13 games): 2 goals
  • December (11 games): 2 goals
  • January (12 games): 5 goals
  • February (14 games): 5 goals
  • March (12 games): 4 goals

17 of Kreider’s goals have come in Rangers wins, 4 have tied the game for the Rangers, 8 have given the Rangers the lead, 7 have given the Rangers an insurance goal. 7 of his goals have come on the PP.

Kreider has 4 game winning goals on the season which is tied for second on the team with Carl Hagelin and Kevin Klein.

The return of Rick Nash, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider

Rick NashRick Nash returns to playing with Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider tonight after the Rangers shuffled their lines due to the injury to Marty St. Louis. (NYR)

Stepan said that the three of them know how to have success as a line and that when you play with Nash you need to know how and when to support him when he has the puck. (NYR)

Alain Vigneault said that Nash spent most of last season with Stepan and Kreider so moving him there was an easy choice. (NYR)

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The little line change that was made between Chris Kreider and JT Miller last night

Kreider6:11PM: Kreider will start with Stepan and St. Louis and Miller will start with Hayes and Hagelin. (Gross)

4:49PM: Last night against the Islanders, Chris Kreider played 13:51 and JT Miller played 12:48.

  • Miller played 4:03 in the first, 3:45 in the second and 5 minutes in the third.
  • Kreider played 5:44 in the first, 4:34 in the second and 3:33 in the third.

Kreider started the third period with Marty St. Louis and Derek Stepan before being put on the fourth line with Dominic Moore and Tanner Glass. He played one more shift with St. Louis and Stepan, around the mid-point of the period, but spent most of it on the fourth line.

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