Chris Kreider, who started the game on the fourth line, played a season low 3:23 and last saw the ice at 7:22 of the second period.
On the post game show, John Tortorella said that he is starting to worry about Kreider and Miller and what kind of role they can play with the Rangers constantly in tight games.
Tortorella said “quite honestly, I am worried about the two kids. I am not upset with them, I just think that the stakes are high and I just have to watch how they go through the game.”
He then said that he wasn’t sure what the next step would be but that he doesn’t want to mess with their development.
On MSG, Dave Maloney and Brian Leetch said that with everything so magnified in the shortened season, the Rangers don’t have the time to allow Kreider and Miller to make mistakes and learn from them, especially at this stage of the season.
The NY Post says that Kreider and Miller are still considered to be untouchable in the organization.
Tortorella has spoken about the struggles he faces sometimes to find ice time for the young players.
Adam Rotter: I don’t see anything wrong with sending Miller and Kreider down to Hartford and it should be done today if John Tortorella isn’t sure he can trust them enough. The primary objective right now is to make the playoffs and it seems that while Kreider and Miller can help the Rangers do that, Tortorella thinks that the negatives in their game could outweigh the positives. Mats Zuccarello took Kreider’s spot in the top six and if Kreider is going to be on the fourth line, he should be in Hartford and playing big minutes. Same with Miller, who could allow Arron Asham to come back into the lineup and maybe ease some of John Tortorella’s fears.