New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider is still despised by many fans in Montreal after an incident that occurred during the 2014 playoffs.
It was during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final, when Kreider collided into Carey Price after being tripped by a Habs defender on a breakaway. Montreal’s star goalie came up hurting but completed the remainder of the second period before giving way to Peter Budaj.
After the game, Canadiens coach Michel Therein was angry with Kreider calling it a reckless play and accusing him of targeting goalies. Henrik Lundqvist immediately came to his teammates’ aid saying it was a clear accident.
Price would be out for the rest of the series as the Rangers won it in 6 games to face the LA Kings in the Stanley Cup Final.
Despite that incident occurring 8 years ago, a former NHL coach is linking it to Price possibly retiring due to knee issues.
Bob Hartley blames Chris Kreider for Carey Price injury issues
Bob Hartley, who last coached an NHL team back in 2015-16, made an appearance on BPM Sports in Montreal to discuss the career of Carey Price. During the interview, he spoke specifically of that collision in 2014 for the reason the Habs star goalie’s playing future is in jeopardy.
“Although he will never admit it,” he said. “Chris Kreider has put the brakes on Carey Price’s incredible career.”
Talk about pouring gas on an old fire. But is the accusation even fair?
Truthfully, only Price can tell you if that hit had an impact. However, the following season (2014-15), he played in 7 more games (66) and set career-highs in the following categories: Wins (44), GAA (1.96), and SV% (.933).
Wow! If he did that while injured who knows what else he could have accomplished.
Unfortunately for Price, the 2015-16 season was cut short due to an MCL sprain. The injury apparently occurred when he stepped on a puck during warmups in Edmonton. Let’s face it, a puck in warmups does not make a good villain.
Chris Kreider is not responsible for Price not playing
Price, 35, has had a difficult time battling injuries suffered during the Habs Stanley Cup run in 2021. After having offseason knee surgery, he entered the league’s NHL/NHLPA player assistance program prior to the 2021-22 campaign. Coupled with his rehab, it made him miss almost the entirety of the season. He was only able to appear in five games, posting a 1-4-0 record with a 3.63 GAA and .878 SV%.
GM Kent Hughes said this summer he does not expect Price to play this season. The team has subsequently put him on LTIR.
To place any blame on Chris Kreider for this is beyond ridiculous.
Since that injury occurred in 2014, Price has appeared in 343 regular season games in 8 years. You can also add 40 playoff games to those numbers during 4 postseason runs.
“I don’t go out with the intent to hurt anyone ever,” Kreider said in 2014. “I look back on it and wish I would’ve put it in the net. Obviously, I was trying to score a goal.”
At the end of the day, Price not being able to play hurts the game. Blaming Kreider for a collision from 2014 doesn’t help the situation.