A pair of veteran natives from New England are providing top play for their NHL teams early in the 2021-22 campaign, with Chris Kreider and Jonathan Quick making waves for the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings.
Boxford, Mass. product Kreider is on pace for a career year with 9 goals in his first 13 games, good for a tie (with Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi) for third in the league behind Alexander Ovechkin (11) and Leon Draisaitl (10). His previous season-best for goals has been 28 markers, done twice.
What stands out with the former Boston College and national champion is his 25 percent shooting percentage, the key to his blistering offensive start. That’s not going to be sustainable over an entire 82-game schedule, but that white-hot touch is what has put him well on his way to the first 30-goal campaign and potentially a lot more.
As for Quick, it’s been a tough couple of years for the 15-year veteran and two-time Stanley Cup champion who is off to his best start since 2017-18, when he finished the season with a 2.40 goals-against average and .921 save percentage to go with 28 wins for the Kings.
The Milford, Conn. native is currently 3-3-1, but his 2.26 GAA and .924 save percentage has him back near the top of the pack for the first time in quite a while. Part of his struggles have to do with the decline of the Kings after the team won NHL championships in 2012 and 2014, but he’s healthy and making key saves in the early going.
We will break down why they’ve found early success and how both can stay on a roll.