Chris Kreider is having his best season as a New York Ranger. This fact is undeniable with a career high 42 goals and 58 points scored. He is on pace to tie Jaromir Jagr’s 54 goals for the most in a single season for a New York Rangers player. Additionally, Jagr’s record of 24 power play goals is within reach as well. Kreider currently has 22 power play goals, one behind Vic Hadfield for second place and tied with Marcel Dionne and Mike Gartner for third on the Rangers list.
Kreider;s 42 goals are also currently tied with Leon Draisaitl for second place in the NHL goal scoring race, just four behind Auston Matthews. Should he be able to pass Matthews, he could become the first Ranger to lead the league in goals scored since Lynn Patrick scored 32 in 1941-42.
Kreider nets the NHL spotlight for the New York Rangers
Goal scoring is always a premium asset for the NHL to showcase. This season the NHL has received a lions share of goal scoring story lines. That the NHL can focus its spotlight on two of its biggest markets is an added bonus to the equation. Kreider’s electrifying season helps the NHL focus on New York, while Matthews league leading 46 goals with the Maple Leafs shines a spotlight on Toronto. Additionally, Matthews is on pace to reach the 60 goal mark, a feat last accomplished in the NHL by Steven Stamkos in 2011-12.
The Great Eight vs the Great One
A little further south, the NHL is keeping an eye on Alexander Ovechkin’s chase to catch Wayne Gretzky for the most goals in NHL history. Ovechkin currently sits as 770 career goals, third all time having just recently passed Jagr’s 766. Additionally his 40 goals this season has him on pace to reach 50 goals for the ninth time. This feat would tie the NHL record currently shared by Gretzky and Mike Bossy.
Much debate has raged regarding who is the best. Its Gretzky’s peak versus Ovechkin’s longevity. At his current pace, Ovechkin will pass Gordie Howe’s 801 goals for second all time next season. His pace will also catch Gretzky’s 894 no later than the 2024-25 season and feasibly in fewer games played than it took the Great One. This would certainly end the best goal scorer of all time debate. If his pace should begin to slip, Oveckin’s contract runs through the 2025-26 season, giving him extra time to break the record, if needed.