Mike Sielski at the Wall Street Journal reports that one of the biggest reasons for Chris Kreider's struggles this season and John Tortorella's refusal to use him is that he still needs to learn how to play a team game.
Here's Gordie Clark on shortcomings he noticed in Kreider's game when scouting him...
"There was a lack of knowledge on how to play a team game. He was so fast and so strong, he was able to go and do things on his own. There was a lot of projection that had to get done, and one thing that had to get done was, how does he learn to play a team game where you have a job to do?"
Kreider admits that he's he's still trying to master the subtler aspects of his sport, including the proper way to dump a puck in the zone.
...Kreider is a guy who's been able to dominate at every level due to his superior physical attributes. Because of that, coaches have run game plans through him, so he likely hasn't been forced to learn the nuances of playing a team game which you need to succeed in the NHL especially on a team coached by Torts.
...until he can prove to the Rangers coaching staff that he's become a more intelligent and complete player he's going to find himself in NHL/AHL limbo.
...on a positive note, we witnessed in the playoffs last season that he can compete at a high level in the NHL and I'm more than confident that he's going to figure it out sooner rather than later.
The notion that he dominated at lower levels and therefore has more to learn about being a pro than a lesser player is bunch of horseshit. Tell that to Crosby. And the dozens of other elite prospects each year that have dominated at lower levels and been good or great right of the gate as a pro. There's another term that explains it, and its the opposite of "high hockey IQ".
THIS. And success at every other level does NOT automatically equal success at the NHL level. If it did, everyone who was a star in college, the AHL or OHL would be lighting it up in the NHL and obviously doesn't happen. Give the kids time to grow, people. Nothing could be worse for them than putting them up with the big boys, expecting way too much from them and setting them up for failure before they're ready.
Here is something for all u Richards haters who think he is useless especially those who said he was a "cancer" "bad guy" not worth anything. You prize possesion who u think can't miss is crediting him w-teaching him something...Now watcj all the responses ignoring it & killing Richards....
and Richards recently gave him a tip about what Kreider called "the location of the dump"—that is, how to shoot the puck into the offensive zone so that an opposing goaltender can't play it. (The answer: either so hard around the boards that he can't stop it, or soft enough so that it settles where he can't reach it.) "That's not something you really think about," Kreider said, "especially not at the college or minor-league level."
I knew I saw that Gordie Clark quote before, so I did a little research. Sielski used that same line in a WSJ article over a year ago: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303513404577356192395482820.html
That being said, there is still no indication of when he originally made the statement. The point is that this isn't really news. They knew during the scouting process that his game needed work. He's coming along though, he's gaining confidence again and his physical play is picking up.
Wow that the "exalted" Gordie Clark at least on these pages, has weighed in to show that maybe Kreider isn't perfect & needs to learn the NHL GAME maybe people will get off of Torts back & stop w-the "Torts doesn't get it" "Torts hates creative guys" "Torts is ruining Kreider" BS. Then againn now that I think about it...nah cause those who said that stuff weren't thinking in the 1st place.
I think Next year can b his breakout year....Get a training camp with the team under his belt....when you think about it he hasn't had a training camp with this team yet....he played with the Whale during the Lockout but he needs to train with this team...Lets hope it works out....allot of upside for this kid
So now that Gordie Clark has echoed the same sentiment about Kreider that Torts has been saying all along, can we finally stop blaming Torts for "ruining" the kid by not playing him. Other coaches might have played him too much and really ruined his confidence because there was no way in hell that he was going to live up to the expectations HE created by his performance in last year's playoffs, when he had nothing to lose and there were ZERO expectations, I might add. The kid needs time and just maybe a full pro season to adjust.
@rangersfan Wait, what? You're going to say that because Crosby did it, it's possible for everyone? As much as I find him annoying, Crosby is a once in a generation level talent. For every Sidney Crosby who comes into the NHL and is an immediate star, there are hundreds who are not.
I mean, it's *possible* that I'll win the lottery, but I'm not drafting my resignation letter just yet.
@queensbee Amen sista!
@ThrSage Ah yes, the location of the dump.
@ThrSage Kreider isn't perfect (who is?). And so what if we ride Torts' back; it's a sport, they're playing a GAME and since we're not part of the team all we can do is comment,
@gravey94 We also looked past any of his short comings & oonly remembered the good. He was awful defensivly against the Devs & got exposed as the series went on.
@gravey94 Makes sense. In the last game I saw him and Richards right next to each other when Richy had the puck in the offensive zone. This allowed multiple defenders to come down on them and removed Kreider as an option for the pass. It is like he is used to the other players just giving him the puck and skating away in that situation. I think he may be trying too hard to make a difference in the short time he gets to see the ice. Irony is that if he plays right he sees a lot more ice. I agree that he needs a full pro season where he has time to develop and there is time to absorb a few mistakes.
@JMK8363 If Torts plays him that is. lol
@queensbee @rangersfan no. That's not what I'm saying at all. Crosby is an extreme example. But the point of the write-up was that becaues he "dominated" at lower levels, he's having trouble adjusting. In other words, he's such an incredible talent, he didn't have any competition at the lower levels and therefore has more trouble adjusting to the pro game than other rookies. I think that's a bunch of baloney. To large extent, all the first rounders "dominated" their competition at lower levels. Some are good pros, and some aren't. But I disagree with the notion that the ones that have less trouble adjusting are those that dominated less at the lower levels.
@_Jack @ThrSage Yeah I know cause if we didn't dump the puck we would break the 85-Oilers records. Sorry but thats the only way for us to win. We don't have the talent level to play any other way. And the NHL has always been about dump & chase unless your the 80-83 Isles., 84-90-Oilers, or the 91-93 Pens. Maybe today's Pens Hawks as well. Devs won 3-Cups playing that way. So did many other teams. You coach to your talent & unfortunatly we don't have alot of goal scoring talent.
@_Jack @ThrSage Its not that u ride him. I'm fine w-that. I am just speaking of those who give him zero credit & blame him for everything thats wrong w-the Rangers. . For example according to alot of the comments if it wasn't for Torts we would avg 5-6 goals a game. Or won't listen to reason on Kreider. They think Torts is just a dick who is not playing him out of spite. Torts is FAR FAR FAR from perfect...Ride Torts all u want just be fair about it.
@queensbee @rangersfan My feeling about Crosby is that the things that made him great at the collegiate level (speed and wrist shot) are less valuable in the pro game where one's speed is more neutralized by faster /better opponents and one has less time and space to get off clean wrist shots. The NHL game requires the ability to carry the puck in traffic and make plays and to play physically. I haven't seen Kreider do much (some but not much) of the latter, especially making plays with the puck)
@ThrSage @_Jack It's really hard to compare strategies against "Today's NHL" (1990 to lockout, post lockout to now) with any NHL hockey of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Yes, it was pro but everything from goalie technique (so rudimentary back then) to player physique has changed — it's just a different game now than it was back then.
@_Jack @ThrSage BTW Jack ur right Kreider is not perfect but he is a rookie. You have to bring those guys along slowly. If u just throw Kreiderv into the fire & he screws up then u run the risk of destroying his confidence. Its happened to many a yong player. If we had a real training camp & a full season not a shortened one wher every game was crucial, Torts would have played him more.
@JMK8363 He played him on the PP in Game-2