To say Chris Kreider's year has been a disappointment would be an understatement. A player, who most fans thought would chip in around 15 goals this season, was barely able to stay on the NHL roster.
But all that can easy be forgotten with a repeat of last year's playoff performance. And injuries to Ryane Clowe and Brian Boyle will give him that opportunity (via New York Post)...
“You never want to get a chance because of injuries, but I’m excited to have the opportunity. Getting a little more ice time the last couple of games helped me get into the flow.”
Here's Kreider on feeding off of last year's postseason success...
“It’s completely independent,” said Kreider, who turned 22 yesterday. “Last year a lot of things fell into place, but that’s over and done with.
“There were nights where I had success and nights where I struggled. My objective is to be dependable and consistent and contribute to the team winning. I’m looking forward to it.”
...very similar to Richards, Kreider has a real chance to erase what was a forgettable year. Just have to hope the playoff atmosphere gets his juices flowing again. I'm not saying he didn't care but he seemed very aloof and almost disinterested on the ice this season which was a complete turn around from the player who constantly fired up to the point of screaming after goals in the playoffs last year.
...what makes Kreider's situation unique is that he's got a ton of playoff experience as he's fifth on the team in career playoff scoring. Which, if he can use that experience to regain his form from last season, will be huge for a Rangers team in need of players to step up in the absence of some pretty important players.
...i also think this postseason could be a crossroads in his career. Is he going to step-up in the big moment, gain his confidence back and ride it to NHL success or will he not take advantage and become another in a long line of 1st round busts for the Rangers. My money's on the former.
Well...I'll tell you one thing, if anyone watched the Kings/Blues game last night you can see the caliber of play that wins championships. The Blues are big, strong, fast and simply DOMINATED a big, strong and fast team. They had them pinned in their zone literally for minutes at a time. It was impressive. The Rangers are going to have to elevate their game to a place they haven't been all year if they are going anywhere. I sure hope they can, but if not here's to hoping that they keep getting bigger, stronger, faster.
I dunno, maybe it's me, but I'm kinda willing to give a 22 year old kid a full actual NHL season and training camp before having him come to a crossroads in his career. Cally had 60 AHL games before he was called up, and he was the same age as Kreider is now. I think we all got a bit spoiled by Kreider's playoff success last year and had very unrealistic expectations for him this year. Next year is probably a good indicator of whether or not he's the real deal or a disappointment.
I hope you're right. Even with Boyle and Clowe injured for the game against Jersey he still didn't give him much ice time. He seems to be content trusting Pyatt more on the third line.
It's entirely up to Torts. The kid can't get any better if he continues to get 5 minutes of ice time a night.
While I have been inclined to blame Torts for Kreider's woes this season, I think there is responsibility on Kreider's part as well. His efforts in CT before the lockout was resolved left much to be desired - didn't work as hard pretty much knowing a spot was there for him based on last year's postseason. I think Torts sensed as much and tried to give him some tough love - just that tough love doesn't work with everyone and Kreider has regressed as a result. Time for Torts to take the reins off and for Kreider to prove he's got NHL chops
While I agree that Torts and the Rangers handling of Kreider has been less than stellar, at some point you have to look at the player as well. It's not like he was tearing it up with the Whale during the lockout before Torts apparently ruined him.
Hopefully he has an opportunity to make a difference and torts plays him more than 4 minutes a game. Kevin what do you think the line combos will be for the game tomorrow?
Expectations were way too high for him coming in to this year, and it seems like they still are. Scoring a few goals in the playoffs last year was probably the worst thing that could have happened for his development. He wasn't ready for the NHL this year, but people somehow expected him to step in and be a top-6 guy. I'm really hoping that the way the Rangers have handled him hasn't completely ruined him.
His confidence still seems really low to me. I HOPE he gains some in the playoffs, but I wouldn't put my money on it. He's a world class talent for sure, but he's too nice and smart of a guy. He needs a brain transplant. Someone needs to put a nasty / simpleton brain in his head and he'd do some real damage.
To say this is a crossroads in his career is a joke. This rookie season was a joke, no training camp, he went from the whale to the NHL, injured, came back, Whale, NHL, Whale, NHL, Whale and back to the NHL. That would be hard on anyone let alone a rookie. Are you kidding with crossroads? He is a rookie, and has not even had a full season yet, and you are talking about crossroads.... come on.
I watched that game. The Blues physically dominated the Kings. Hitchcock used his fourth line as weapon. He didn't care about match-ups. He put that 4th line out there no matter who was on the ice.
Porter, Reaves and Cracknell punsihed the Kings defensemen. No "lovetaps".....we're talking big hits. That line combined for 18 hits...Reaves had 9 by himself. The Blues had close to 40 hits in the game.
That's how you get it done in the playoffs.
@JMK8363 tough to move the pylon from the front of the net?
@gravey94 My crossroads comment obviously will have a lot to do with the actual chance he gets this postseason. If Torts staples him to the bench then yes next year is huge, but if he gets an opportunity and doesn't take advantage I think it effects him next season.
Also, I have a hyperbolic reaction to everything so there's that as well. lol
@KevinDeLury That's why he should never have been called up. If he's in a slump or struggling with the pro game at the AHL level, how do they expect him to compete in the NHL? They put him in a position to fail, rather than a position to succeed.
@clarkeybabes Hags-Step-Cally, Zucc-Richards-Nash, Kreider-Brassard-Pyatt, Asham-Newbury-Powe.
@Josh6 Why is it a joke? A player's success or failure can easily be defined early in their career. This is a big opportunity for him and he needs to take advantage of it.
@KevinDeLury Ok it is a big opportunity, but you are telling me his career is defined by his (shortened) rookie season... I dont buy it... lets see what he does after a full training camp, when he understands exactly what Torts wants of him
@Josh6 Only time will tell.