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After a remarkable postseason last year, Chris Kreider certainly did not live up to expectations this year.
He played in just 23 games in the NHL, scoring only two goals. In the AHL, he scored 12 goals and had 11 assists in 48 games. It was a step back for Kreider.
However, the year wasn't completely lost. Moved up to the second line in the latter stages of the second round against the Boston Bruins, Kreider showed some of the explosiveness and skill that endeared him to fans in last year's postseason.
He scored the game-winning goal in Game 4 of the second round and looked much more comfortable playing with Rick Nash than he did when he was toiling on the fourth line.
Now that John Tortorella is no longer coach, it would seem that Kreider has a fresh start. He was misplaced on the fourth line. He belongs with high-end players.
The best line of the playoffs only played together for a few periods, but it brings hope for next season. The trio of Kreider, Nash and Derek Stepan was flying over the ice. They should remain a trio next year.
If they do, then Kreider could start to realize his massive potential. And if he does, the Rangers would add another layer of scoring that they so desperately need.