Chris Kreider sees big Artemi Panarin influence on his power-play success

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Chris Kreider is as dangerous as he is this season, especially in front of the net, with the 30-year-old winger crediting the rest of Rangers’ first man-advantage unit for developing him the skill of getting the puck.

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Particularly Artemi Panarin, whom Kreider said he believes is one of the best in the world at misdirecting opponents.

Kreider quickly realized that he was far from the first NHL player who had to improve his game to keep up with the Panarin. He and his former Boston College teammate Cam Atkinson, who also played with the Panarin for two seasons in Columbus, really bonded over his adjustment to playing alongside elite talent like the Russian winger.

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“He’s an incredible player and scores a lot of goals, but he had the best year playing with Artie,” Kreider said of Atkinson after practice on Monday. ,[We] Comfortably – or not comfortable – talked a bit about – but getting himself used to being spotted and ready for the puck when he didn’t necessarily think he was going to get the puck.

Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin
AP

“Artie is so good at hitting you in the wrong direction, there have been times over the years where I’ve stood up straight and suddenly [the puck’s] between my legs. If I had been up for it, I probably would have had a better chance. I mean he’s hard to read, that’s what makes him such a good player. Sometimes it is even difficult for us to read it.

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“So just be constantly ready when he has the puck, but that also applies to Ryan Strom, Adam Granthshala and Micah [Zibanejad], Those guys are so incredible looking aside and keeping the puck right where you are. ,

Most of Creder’s goals this season have come from tip-ins around Blue Paint or redirections from a pinpoint feed, a skill Creder has said he has worked on mastering his entire career. Panarín assisted Creder in six of the team’s leading nine power-play goals, second only in the league behind the Oilers’ Leon Driesettle.

Creder is the only lefty shot currently featured in the Rangers’ first power-play unit alongside Strom, Panarin, Zibnejad and Granthshala. However, the longest-serving Ranger believes playing with all rights makes it a little easier to familiarize himself with where on the ice he will be set up for a scoring opportunity.

“They’re going to fix the puck on your tape, even if they’re not looking at you, it’s like a sixth sense,” he said. “It’s an incredible skill.”

Rangers’ power play is currently ranked 12th in the league, capitalizing on 12 out of 59 this season for 20.3 percent. Creder has logged a team-high 68:16 on Man Advantage. When outscoring an opponent on special teams this season, the Rangers are 5-0-1.

For Crider, the key to getting consistent offense out of the power play is to continue to develop the chemistry between the members of his unit.

“I think that’s the most important thing,” Kreider said. “You see the most successful power play in the league are groups that have been together over the years. With the ups and downs, he’s familiar, confident that even if the puck isn’t going, these are things we do well. That’s what makes us successful. That’s why we stick to that process.”

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