They write of Kreider that the shift towards a more open style with Alain Vigneault should help, but Kreider needs to work his way out of the minor leagues first. They say that his talent level is that of a top-six forward but his confidence has seemed shaky at times.
Adam Rotter: It’s the lowest spot Kreider has had as people start to doubt he will reach the lofty expectations set out for him. He was a main untouchable in the original Rick Nash talks and his five goals in the 2012 playoffs had people dreaming of big things for Kreider. John Tortorella saw that he needed more time right away, to go through the process, and Alain Vigneault has to agree so far. Whether it’s with the Rangers or the Wolf Pack, Kreider needs to play top six minutes and he didn’t grab hold of that chance with the Rangers. It’s best for him to play in all situations, work on defense, and play top line in Hartford than try to find a way to create offense on the fourth line with Dominic Moore. If Kreider goes to Hartford and does what he is supposed to do, score, he will be back with the Rangers very soon.
Tortorella added that Kreider respects the process he is going through and understands the challenge and work it will take to be comfortable and learn all the dynamics of being a pro hockey player, “This is the right type of process that he needs to go through, and I hope he takes a step in the right direction and keeps on growing from there.”
The Rangers coach described Kreider as having “major assets” but “it’s just a matter of trying to get him to put it all together and do it consistently along the way here.”
Since being sent down to the Whale at the end of February, Chris Kreider has six goals in eight games.
The 25 shots that he has in eight games are the most he has had in a month, and that includes 14 games in December where he only had 21 shots and 11 games in November where he had 24 shots.
Of his six goals in the last eight games:
three have come on the power play
one came on a breakaway
FIVE came from going to the net or being around the net
Kreider had FIVE goals in his first 34 games.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers should only call up Kreider, who need his speed and skill, if John Tortorella “allows the kid to breathe and play without fear of benching or banishment with every mistake.”
He adds “a recall only makes sense if Kreider slots into an offensive role that includes power play time.”
Brooks says that everyone on the team has been allowed to fail except for Kreider and that Kreider is having a difficult time earning the trust of Tortorella.
Adam Rotter: It’s really encouraging that he has scored more goals in the last eight games than he did in his first 34 games. He has found his scoring touch down there but without actually watching him play, it’s hard to know how his overall game has progressed. The Whale have 19 games left and are pushing for the playoffs as well. If it was up to me, I think I would let him stay in Hartford, play big minutes, score/work on his game, and finish strong with an idea of making an impact at training camp next season.