Thread: Chris Kreider
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02-27-2013, 01:26 PM
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For those who point out that Kreider has never been "lazy" you are right. By all accounts he has a great work ethic and is a real good kid. But anyone who watched him regularly at BC knows he wasn't always a factor on the ice. Like Gaborik he would (some nights) be more or less invisible, even when he scored. Now that is not to say he didn't play a smart, efficient game and helped the team win. But at least for me I always wanted to see more. Or more accurately I thought there was more to see.

Anyway, Kreider is a rookie. He is going to make mistakes. And that's fine. But, IMO, ignoring the head coach, no matter what you think of him, can not be one of them.

Torts wants him to use his size and speed to have an impact on the game. He wants to see him, right or wrong, pumping his legs and flying around. Kreider hasn't done that consistently. For a guy who is probably one of the fastest skaters on the planet he often looks remarkably average, mostly because he glides around a lot and by the time he gets his speed going he has to change directions. And its not as if the game is simply too fast for him. With his speed, scrambling around even in a confused manner would be pretty noticeable.

Now personally I agree with the coaches directions. Kreider has speed and size and I think he should use it on every shift. It's not as if Torts is asking established players to do something completely unrelated to their "game" like having Gaborik fight or Boyle dangle. Kreider is a rookie and the direction matches his skill set.

I guess I just don't buy the "it's in his head" argument. This isn't about a guy nervously shooting the puck into the goalies chest or making a tentative play in the defensive zone because he is afraid to make a mistake. This is about him not playing at the intensity level the coach wants to see. Forget finishing a check, just keep your damn feet moving. And even if that does not END UP being "Kreiders game" he needs to do that NOW.

The bottom line for me? The fact that a smart, hard working, extraordinarily fast and extremely strong young man can't seem to summon 5 minutes of noticeable skating is a little frightening.

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