The USA faced Austria today in the preliminary round of the World Championships and defeated Austria 5-1. Chris Kreider opened the scoring with an end-to-end goal and was named player of the game. Kreider sped down the entire right side of the ice, deked out a defender, and buried the puck in the net. It’s that kind of play, which is not uncommon for Kreider, that makes Rangers fans so excited. He has the potential to be one of the most exciting forwards the Rangers have had since Alex Kovalev. Derek Stepan, who centered USA’s first line, notched two assists, and Ryan McDonagh was a +1 and got key minutes for the US the whole game, including on a 5 v 3 penalty kill.
This is not from today, but rather from a tune-up game against Austria on the 27th, and while it clearly isn’t as nice as an end-to-end rush, you can see Kreider’s speed. He starts standing still at the faceoff and then explodes to get to the Austrian defense before they can even make a play with the puck. He tops it off by calmly placing the puck in the net. Kreider’s shot is not great, but aside from being ridiculously fast, he is a good goal scorer not because of the shot itself but rather his ability to stay composed with the puck on his stick. After he steals the puck, you can see the puck sort of get lost in his skates and his stick is in an awkward position. But instead of panicking and trying to force a shot, he adjusts his body to put himself in a better shooting position.