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12-28-2012, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DuckJet View Post
Watched him play 4 times this year and the only thing that impressed me was his speed. Didn't even know about his low production until 2 weeks ago. He never showed up defensively. He would disappear offensively. He tried to do too much with the puck when he had it. I didn't see anything that screamed elite prospect the way other AHLers have.

Stats aren't everything yes, but you'd think that if he was a 50-60 point Calder threat the way some were pumping him up to be, you'd think he'd put SOME points up. I'd personally find it troubling if we had an "elite" prospect who couldn't take it upon himself to make his bad team a little better on his own back. The bad team excuse can only take you so far. Don't mean to prospect plug but Norfolk is one of the poorer performers in the AHL this year and Peter Holland is still scoring at a point per game pace. I wouldn't even call him elite, but somehow he manages to get the points. Why can't Kreider. I know some Rangers fans are concerned, but what is strange to me is why there are so many Kreider fans who think that nothing's wrong.
All of this.

As I'm sure you all know, I'm not Kreider's biggest fan. But some of these excuses are terrible.

1. Somebody explain to me why there are ten players scoring at better rates than Kreider? I know that CT is a horrible team (been following the AHL religiously during the lockout, seen half a dozen Whale games), but ten players are scoring at better rates, and honestly Kreider is invisible every time he plays, to the point that I'm questioning if he's playing.

2. Kreider has never had elite production at the college level. You can whine that he didn't get the ice time, whatever, but when he's a junior he's getting the ice time, and he still scored at only a PPG. As a guy with elite speed and elite size playing on an AMAZING team, he should be able to score at a better rate than that as a junior. Plenty of college hockey teams give ice time seniority. It's not just BC and it's not just Kreider who's a 'victim' of that kind of coaching. Even in the WJC, where everyone lauds his production, he scored most of his points against weak, relegation-types of teams. It's funny how Rangers fans will use a 13 games sample of statistics to pump Kreider, but almost 30 games of AHL play is not valid.

So how is it, that despite never putting up huge offensive numbers in college, he's going to become a 70 point player in the NHL, like a couple of Rangers fans in this thread have claimed? I thought he was a complimentary player like a couple of different Rangers fans said... But this is confusing, since only 21 players scored 70 points last season. So Kreider would need some REALLY elite linemates to hit anywhere close to 70.

3. Now I'll hear about "the Rangers org probably told him to take it easy and stay in shape and healthy". Are you all really deluding yourself on this argument? How about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? Sean Couturier? Oliver Ekman-Larsson? Jordan Eberle? Brayden Schenn? Justin Faulk? All of these guys have much more reason to not need to give it their all and produce at an elite level in the AHL, and yet they do. Most of them have injury histories too. Why haven't they been told to take it easy and stay healthy like Kreider? That argument holds absolutely no water and anyone who is tricking themselves into believing it is certainly reaching a level of desperation.

4. Now's usually the time where Rangers fans run to the playoff numbers. Well here's the thing, he was shooting at 17%, and starting in the offensive zone 70% of the time. He was put in excellent position to put up points, and was aided by unsustainable shooting percentage. Like I've pointed out before, regress that number and he's at about 3 goals in the 18 games.

5. Now you'll accuse me of not watching Kreider in the playoffs. You'd be quite wrong. See, I'd been a fan of Kreider for a while. I've always been a believer in his physical skillset as a sure bet to be a solid top-9 NHL player and a probable 2nd liner. I've never bought in the idea that he has 'elite' potential. This is from watching him at BC, watching every US WJC game he was in, watching the playoffs last season, and watching several Whale games this fall/winter. I'm bloody sick of people accusing me of not watching Kreider just because I supplement my reports with stats, and because I'm a fan of using basic advanced stats for context.

I don't see elite. I see a great skater, great physical player, great shot, above average defensive player (in a couple years), limited offensive upside. I don't see above average stick-handling. I don't see above average vision, or about average playmaking, or above average hockey IQ. I do see 30-25 in a good year, 25-20 most years. For reference, 45 points is decent second line production, even though people expect 60 points out of everyone on their second line.

The thing that really bites me about Kreider discussions is that Rangers fans insist they know more about Kreider than I do, based on a biased viewing of 18 games and the relative difference between Kreider and other Rangers prospects. They just can't admit that maybe Kreider isn't going to score 30 goals next season, maybe he won't win a Hart trophy. Ducks fans (back me up on this, DuckJet) have no problem admitting that maybe Etem isn't going to be a 40 goal-scorer in the NHL, that his play in the AHL (until semi-recently) wasn't inspiring, and that maybe he tops out as a 2nd liner. And before we have a pissing match it's definitely not just Rangers fans guilty of this, but with all the Kreider hype I think they might be the most frequent ones.

TL;DR. I've seen Kreider play at every level. He does not have elite upside like most Rangers fans will insist. And the reason I'm so vehemently in every Kreider thread on HF is because of some of the ridiculous excuses Rangers fans have come up with to explain his production.

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