To say it's been a whirlwind April for New York Rangers rookie Chris Kreider would be quite the understatement.
After all, it wasn't long ago that the 6-foot-3, 230-pound forward was skating for Boston College and celebrating his team's Frozen Four championship in Tampa, Fla., with the upcoming NHL playoffs and the Stanley Cup the last thing on his mind.
Kreider, the 19th overall pick in the 2009 draft, joined the Rangers just before their first-round series against Ottawa, but he wasn't necessarily expecting to play, and he certainly wasn't expecting to make a difference, even if he did see the ice.
But on Saturday against the Washington Capitals, he was the difference for New York, as he helped the Rangers jump out to a 1-0 series lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Exactly three weeks to the day after winning that collegiate national title, Kreider earned first-star honors in his sixth career game. And his game-winning goal and subsequent assist in the Rangers'...