Via Mollie Walker:
“Chris Kreider reflects on how the New York Rangers 2022-23 season ended: ‘I think like every guy on that team, I've got a pit in my stomach. I expect that to turn into a bit of a chip on everyone's shoulder.'”
The 2022-23 campaign was one that began with optimism and hopes of lifting the greatest trophy in sports for the Rangers. The team was coming off a 110-point regular season the season before and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, and they had a ton of talent on their roster, led by a rising star in goalie Igor Shesterkin.
Despite another strong regular season, though, New York crashed out of the playoffs in the first round. Even worse, it came at the hands of their tri-state neighbors, the New Jersey Devils.
The contrast was strong between a young Devils team built mainly through strong drafting, and the Rangers. The Blueshirts acquired stars Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane via in-season trades to bolster their roster for a playoff push, but it ultimately didn't lead them to the promised land.
Kreider had another strong season for the Rangers last year, racking up 36 goals as a net-front presence, and adding six more in their seven-game series against the Devils. But the team's failure to build on their strong 2021-22 season had consequences, as it cost head coach Gerard Gallant his job; he announced his resignation upon the Rangers' elimination.
Kreider is using the disappointment of the Rangers most recent season to fuel his desire to bring the Stanley Cup back to Madison Square Garden. The Rangers have not been to the Stanley Cup Finals since the 2013-14 season, and have not lifted the Cup since the 1993-94 season. It will be Kreider's sole focus to end the wait.