The New York Rangers may be taking on one of the league’s best teams in hockey Thursday night but they received some big news regarding one of their top players.
Before Thursday’s contest, Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant announced that forward Chris Kreider will make his return to the starting lineup Thursday night against the Boston Bruins. Kreider missed the last three games with an upper-body injury.
In the three-game absence, New York went 2-1-0 with one of those wins coming via a shootout over Dallas.
Kreider has totaled 30 points with 19 goals in 42 games played. He currently is the team leader in even strength goals at the current moment as well. Since returning to practice, the Rangers’ offensive weapon has been working with the top line of Mika Zibanejad and Kaapo Kakko.
Against a Boston Bruins team that is an astounding 30 games over .500 and leading the league in points (74), the Rangers will need all the help they can get to stop Boston’s top “perfection line.” The trio of David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, and Patrice Bergeron are among the league leaders in points and have been a nuisance to much of the league in 2022-23.
Kreider and the Blueshirts’ top lines may not have the offensive numbers that Boston has shown, but the Rangers have played excellent hockey through the month of January.
New York is currently 6-1-1 in the first month of 2023 and has been able to win without top players like Chris Kreider dealing with injuries. The more the Rangers win, the more likely they’ll be attacking the upcoming trade deadline with ferocity.
Of course, a win over the top dogs in Boston would do a lot to help that as well.