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Chris Kreider skating on fourth line; Kevin Hayes playing with confidence

Bobby Bevilacqua

chris kreider 11-5

Chris Kreider will return to the Rangers lineup on Saturday against the Canucks. Kreider did not play against the Penguins due to neck spasms. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Chris Kreider will return to the Rangers lineup on Saturday when the Rangers (12-10-4) take on the Vancouver Canucks (18-9-2) in Canada. But like expected, Kreider will not be skating alongside Derek Stepan and Martin St. Louis on the second line.

For the second straight practice, JT Miller took line rushes with the Rangers second line. Miller had success on Monday skating with Stepan and St. Louis. He played over 14 minutes and scored the first goal of the game.

Kreider has struggled recently, and has not scored a goal in the last 10 games. Miller’s play since he has been recalled is a good enough reason to let him get his chances on the second line.

Kreider will continue to play, but will do so on the bottom line, as a result of him struggling to score. This could be good for Kreider. Dom Moore is still a capable center, and he may be on against other fourth lines, giving him strong opportunities to score.

During today’s practice, Tanner Glass and Matt Hunwick skated as extras, and they are the likely candidates for the healthy scratches.

Kevin Hayes has a point in his last four games, with two of them being goals. He has a total of 10 points (4-6-10) in 23 games this season.

Kevin Hayes 10-14

Kevin Hayes comes from a family of hockey, and the influences have helped him develop. Hayes is on a four game point streak, and has 10 points this season. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

Although he has struggled on faceoffs, like many rookie centers do, winning just 31.7% of his draws, Hayes has done very well in other areas. Hayes wins tons of puck battles, forces turnovers, and has shown promise on offense, and he just gets better with every game.

Hayes comes from a family of hockey, which might explain his immense knowledge for the game. He is cousins with U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer Keith Tkachuk and Penguins assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald. Both men have played over 1,000 games in the NHL.

Kevin also has a brother playing in the NHL, forward Jimmy Hayes of the Florida Panthers, who has six goals and six assists this season.

Kevin Hayes has solidified himself as the Rangers third line center, and with a hockey family behind him, has a lot of support and positive influences behind him.

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Posted on December 12, 2014, in In the Crease and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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