One year ago Chris Kreider was here at TD Garden helping Boston College win its third consecutive Beanpot Tournament. Today he is back at TD Garden in Boston, a Rangers rookie looking to help his team win its third straight contest when it skates against the Bruins this evening.
But there was Chris Kreider Monday night after the Rangers arrived in town merging his past and present as he sat in the stands at TD Garden, rooting on the Eagles as Boston College won the Beanpot yet again.
"I think I was able to look at the game (last night) with a different perspective," said Kreider following the Rangers morning skate on Tuesday. "I ran into a lot of people I knew, and it was great to see BC win it again."
Much has taken place in Kreider's world since helping Boston College win that Beanpot last February. He won his second NCAA championship with the Eagles in April, then decided to turn pro, and then set an NHL record by scoring five post-season goals before playing his first NHL regular season contest. This season began with hig expectations, but the lockout landed him in the minor leagues, and now after an injury-marred start to the 2013 NHL campaign, Kreider is rounding into form with a goal and an assist in his last three games.
"It feels like more than a year ago because there's been so much hockey between now and then," offered Kreider, who was the 2011 Beanpot Tournament Most Valuable Player. "It's crazy to look back and realize it was a year ago I was playing in that tournament."
Kreider had a 2013 Beanpot Torunament game program in his locker at TD Garden Tuesday morning, and he said that he exchanged some good-natured barbs with Boston University alum Matt Gilroy about BC's recent dominance over its Boston-area hockey rivals.
But his attention quickly shifts to the task at hand, an important two road points up for grabs when the rangers face the Bruins tonight. And the Boxford, MA native will be out there skating in front of family and friends, starting to the left of fellow rookie J.T. Miller and team captain Ryan Callahan.
Not a bad place to be one year later.
Share your thoughts below on Chris Kreider's play of late, and what you expect from him the rest of the season.