After Chirs Kreider took the NHL by storm in the playoffs last year, we all thought the sky was the limit for him. He was guaranteed to score 30 goals this season and a lock for the Calder Trophy.
So when he struggled playing in the AHL during the lockout (5g in 34 games), we used every excuse in the book. "He's working on other aspects of his game." "The AHL talent around him is holding him back." "Once the bright lights come back on he'll snap out of it."
Whelp, after 11 games with the Rangers this year, Kreider has just two points (1g, 1a) and routinely looks lost out on the ice.
And after his latest puzzling performance last night, John Tortorella had these concerns regarding Kreider...
"(Kreider) and (Mashinter), there was a bit of a struggle there a couple of times. This is what happens when you have some injuries and you have the kids. I get really worried about that. That we're putting them in a spot that they're just not ready for yet."
...it's no secret that Kreider has been given mixed messages from the Rangers this season. He's been in the press box, assigned to Hartford, recalled, on the top line and on the fourth line. I'm sure his head is spinning right now. So the best thing for his development would be a trip to Hartford and a return to some normalcy. Get him on the top line, play him 20 minutes a night, put him in every situation possible and let him figure it out. Having him play five minutes a night on the fourth line in the NHL doesn't do him or the organization any good.
...while the Rangers might be playing mind games with Kreider, he has to share some of the blame as well. He has contributed nothing offensively no matter who he's playing with. He's not creating chances or putting any kind of pressure on opposing defenses. The other night I watched the Senators sensational rookie Silfverberg flying all over the ice and I wondered to myself, "why can't Kreider do that anymore?" Maybe last year he played on pure adrenaline during the playoffs and we're just finding out now that he's really not ready for the NHL.
...another theory I have is that the Orpik hit he took during the home opener messed him up a bit. Not saying that he suffered a concussion, but you have to wonder if getting crushed like that knocked some of the confidence out of him. Instead of focusing on the puck and making plays, he's now more concerned about avoiding a lurking defensman. Also remember that he suffered a nasty foot injury that is likely effecting him as well. Maybe I'm just looking to make excuses for the kid because I so want him to succeed, but figured I'd just offer some food for thought.
@TheNYRBlog No reason to hate to say it. We've seen enough of a sample to see that Kid Kreider's complete game needs more work in CT.
Chris Krieder is a very cerebral player. He has a very High Hockey IQ. The problem is that you just can't have a talent like that playing 4th line minutes. He is NOT a role player. His game is be fed than rip a blistering wrist shot with deceptive speed. However Tort's has ruined this player. Tort's is a very demanding coach that tries force players to change there game and what has made them successful in ie: College, and International play. I heard through a reliable source that there are rumblings inside Rangers Organization that Gordie Clark has had many battles over prospects with Tortorella. Read this article: http://theprospectpark.blogspot.com/2012/03/gordie-clark-mantra.html. I would not put it past Tortorella to look to trade an asset like Krieder to save his job because at present we NY Rangers are looking from the outside of the playoffs. I am a very very hardcore New York Rangers fan and have played in the New York Rangers at that time (MJHA) for coach Lou Vairo and Brooklyn Stars along with Nick Fotiu. I am a former Board Member of USA Hockey and founder of the TCIHL.com with a player that was developed by my program and league Brandon Underwood playing in the WCH http://www.whl.ca/roster/show/id/859. I know hockey!! Self praise is no praise but I spend my 80% of my free time scouting for knowledge of future players. Krieder is the real deal. BTW McIlrath was KOed by Brandon Underwood irrelevant to this rant but just had to say that. Back to Krieder ppl and real fans please feel free to tweet. chirp or whatever but remember what I said. At this moment someone is being shopped. I will be at the Kings Game on Sunday versus the Flames. I will be checking to see what scouts are there, as my BFF has season tickets with LA Kings. I am H8ter of Kings but I find out a lot at these games when I do go. # LGR
I was at the game last night and it really looked like the team, except for Callahan, has stopped playing for Tortorella. There was absolutely no flare, no energy. There were a total of five times that there was some excitement in the Garden. The three goals, the Callahan shot-blocking and the appearance of Ulf Nilsson.
With regards to Kreider, I hope we're not looking at anoter bust like Gilroy.He was supposed to be a can't miss either. For your sake Kevin,I hope I'm wrong because I know you really like this kid.
My boy Gaborik isn't lighting up either. I begin to think that he just doesn't fit into Torts stile of play. I'd like to say Torts system but it is clear that he does not have a system. (he wouldn't know a system if it hit him in the head.)
I'm really worried about this team not making it to the playoffs(playoffs?) Loved last years team better. Never thought tha I wish Duby was back.
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@KevinDeLury these young kids arent able to play their game....with all the shuffling of lines and the teams recent struggles....if i were the coach i would have tried out a line of Mashinter, Kreider and Miller. Just to see if maybe they can go out there, relax, have fun and provide a spark.....especially at home.
@RangerGuy99 @KevinDeLury I never understood the constant line shuffling. I'm sure Torts sees things and wants to move stuff around, but how can you build chemistry that way? You have a line in practice and then 4 minutes into the game you have 2 different line mates. I'm all for mixing things up when you need to but the whole game, every game seems like too much to me.
I don't agree he's been given mixed messages. I believe they've been very clear with him through an unusual season, which just happens to be his first as a pro.
He'll be fine. He had just about the worst first offseason a first-year pro could have, with such high expectations after overachieving in the playoffs combined with lack of time to work with his coach and many of the players he'd actually be playing with. With a Torts training camp followed by a stint with Hartford he'd have been so much better off, getting a mid-season call-up like Hagelin and McDonagh with less pressure on him, and more awareness of Torts' expectations. The Whale is his best bet for now, he needs to play as much as possible.
@TheNYRBlog don't hate to say it. The kid needs minutes. He's wasting his youth sitting on our bench.
There is another possibility - Kreider's just not that good. I keep saying the same thing on this blog, but he can't make a play in traffic with the puck. He can't CREATE. Compare him to Miller, for instance, who has made a bunch of plays. Even after his 5 goals in the playoffs last year I was skeptical - all shots when he was wide open and 1 tip-in. If he learns to use his body and position himself well, maybe he's a decent 3rd line guy.
@rangersfan Eh I wouldn't go that route. He was very strong with BC while he was there and also was very impressive in the world juniors when we won gold. That being said, I don't think the player we saw in the playoffs was him either. I've been saying since the playoffs that he had to have been playing off the adrenaline of being thrown right into the show. He needs to go down and gain his confidence.
@RyanMC College Hockey, and for that matter same with juniors to a lesser extent, is not even close to the same game. Yes, people that are good in college or juniors is the only way to judge a prospect, but the list of juniors and college stars who are complete zeros in the pro game is extremely long. Kreider can skate with the pros for sure, which is great. And he has a wicked shot. but I don't see him as a top-six forward. One thing that we can agree on, however, is that he has NO confidence with the puck (or without it for that matter). Maybe that's just mental. I hope so, as a Ranger fan.
@Dminches @rangersfan Coaching staff and players share blame equally. We don't have the fighters anymore so thats part of it. Asham and bickel dont get enough ice time to fight and neither did mashinter. The players are playing unmotivated hockey do the coached try shuffling things around to get something going but it doesnt work so they keep shuffling lines. It's a vicious cycle which is going to be the downfall of this team if it doesnt stop soon. Both sides need to take a step back and realize this.
@Dminches @rangersfan Sticking up for each other sparks up the team. If someone had gone after paccioretty, or whoever threw hagelin to the ground twice in one shift on their last road trip (I forget which game it was), Or whoever ran into Biron in Montreal, that sparks up the bench, gets the team excited and that turns into offense. We saw that a lot last year with all the fighting. We scored plenty of goals in the shift or 2 after we got a fighting major. BUT, nothing seems to inspire this team this year. Cally's goal last night to cut the gap down to one drew nothing offensively, WPG actually scored less than a minute later. This team needs something to get excited about. The one thing we haven't seen much of is protecting one another. It worked last year why not do it this year.
@RyanMC @rangersfan I don't understand that. What does people sticking up for one another have to do with offense? And what was the reason for their lack of offensive output last year? They was last in goals scored among the eastern division playoff teams. As you know, they went through relatively long droughts. That's the only reason why Kreider was brought up. They needed someone to score.
Last year Torts let Hagelin play. He should do that with Kreider and Miller too.
@Dminches @rangersfan I think with the exception of Kreider he has handled you talkent just fine. Stepan and Hagelin are doing just fine and DZ is hit or miss. The problem with the lack of offense is a complete lack of heart and team chemistry. Last season they played the first month of their schedule in Europe. Thats a month of spending every waking moment with the team in close quarters, they didn't have that this year and when you add a bunch of new faces you need something like that. Nobody sticks up for anyone on the ice this year either. Those two things are directly related to a lack of offense.
@RyanMC @rangersfan Where did I say they should fire him? I don't like him and I am not convinced he is the reason they have made the playoffs the past 2 years. I think that has more to do with the added personnel. They were outplayed in each of the 3 series last year but managed to win. Do you think he has handled the young talent well? Why does this team struggle to score goals? I don't have the answers to that.
@Dminches @rangersfan Another person on the fire torts band wagon? In case you forgot we went to the eastern conference finals last season. We have gotten progressively better each season since torts got here. Remember what things were like before Torts? I think its safe to say nobody wants to go back to that. One slow start to a shortened season is no reason to jump ship on Torts.
@rangersfan @RyanMC You left out the part about his solid play in the playoffs under the most extreme pressure and very little practice with the team. i agree that scouts can be wrong and he certainly isn't a lock by any means, but he played very well in the playoffs so this isn't an issue with talent. I believe it is an issue with the coaching staff not knowing how to bring along young players. Putting doubt into a young player's head is not going to help you get the most out of him. Having him do the NY to Hartford trek and back isn't either. Either you tell him he is going to play and do it or send him down. The joke is, this team needs offensive in a big way, especially with Nash out, and he and Miller may be able to provide it (as opposed to Boyle). This team is not well coached.
@Dminches @RyanMC "hard to believe that the all the scouts were wrong about him"? Really? Ever heard of Alexander Daigle? or Hugh Jessiman? or Pavel Brendl? or for that matter, Henrik Lundquivst going in the 7TH ROUND on admittedly was a "flyer on a goaltender"? Hate to break it to you, but being drafted in the first round provides no guarantees in the pro game. Not to mention, didn't Malholtra (another 1st rounder) have a bunch of goals in his first 20 or so games as a pro when he was 19? Wasn't a goal scorer though. Kreider has A LOT to prove at this level, and so far, he really hasn't done it. Maybe it's mental, maybe not. One thing I agree with this blog about, however, is that he needs to be sent down immediately. Whatever the reason, he can't play at the NHL level right now.
@rangersfan @RyanMC It is hard to believe that all the scouts were wrong about him. And, his performance in the playoffs was just a fluke. The difference between this year and last is that in the playoffs they just let him skate and be himself. They needed an offensive spark and they gave it to him. This year his is playing scared because he knows any mistake could put him on the bench. He has to take some of the blame, but you have to be very careful with young kids since their confidence is usually fragile. Torts is in his head for no reason. The talent is there but they have messed with the mental part of his game.
@rangersfan I meant to add that NCAA and Juniors are very different but noticed it after I hit post. Yes they are very different talent levels but thats really all we have to go on with this kid. I think he has the skill set to be a top 6 forward but he is going to need to learn a lot to get there.
Normally, I would say keep the kid up here because he can learn a lot from the other pros around him. But with pretty much every seasoned pro forward on the Rangers struggling, there's simply nobody to mentor him because they are all trying to figure out their own games. Until this team gains some of it's confidence and swagger back, Kreider (and probably Miller & Mashinter) would be best served going to the AHL and being mentored down there. You can't just throw a rookie into an NHL team and expect him to produce. I guarantee you that Silfverberg is constantly picking Alfredsson's brain, which makes things that much more comfortable for a kid. While the new guys (Halpern, Powe, Pyatt) might be able to provide some of that tutoring, they are too new to the team to take on that role. It should come from guys like Cally, Richards, Gaborik, Nash, and Boyle, but they've all got their own demons right now. Once it turns, then it might be a good time for the kids. I don't buy that his struggles are injury-related or the result of Orpik, he just needs a guide and the Rangers don't have that right now.
@TheNYRBlog whole thing with Kreider is he played better before he so called knew system which stifles creativity. Others have same issue
@MCStaneck You have to remember Hagelin wasn't an offensively gifted player out of college. Ceiling was 3rd line w/ speed & good defense.
@TheNYRBlog that's not saying much but 10 PTS total and 20 goals in 84 regular games isn't really flourishing but I 'll give a partial
Sadly, our kids may not be as good as we think, but time will tell and we need to support them. As we've seen around the league, kids come up and make an impact pretty quickly. Ours come up and contribute little if anything. Unsure if it is the pressure of NY or what, but it is frustrating. On the other hand, many of our veterans are contributing little, so there you have it.
@TheNYRBlog I think it's also the organizations fault, what the fuck are they doing with him? Playing him with Boyle and Powe, "learning"
@TheNYRBlog gotta be torture for CK, expecting to get at least decent minutes. I really think its time to #FireSullivan. Can we that going?
@TheNYRBlog but don't you think at a point he's gotta stop benching key players, I basically hate gaborik and Richards is becoming Drury 2.0
@jakealbi Love Torts and his system. Training camp really hurt this team. Feel like Torts might not have handled it well.
@TheNYRBlog how do you feel about torts? Obviously sully needs to go because the power play has Been horrendous for years, even with Renney