Thread: Player Discussion: Chris Kreider
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04-22-2013, 12:45 AM
  #601
TheRightWay
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Originally Posted by jBuds View Post

- biggest problem with him this year? or, in better form, what has been the biggest hindrance on him taking that next step towards becoming an effective, top-6 regular that seemed imminent this time last year?
Hard to say, really. He had a slow start to the season in the AHL and was battling through injuries. He started the season at the NHL level with an injured foot, and it showed.

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- I've certainly seen varying opinions of the relationship he has (or lacks) with Torts... understanding that Tortorella holds players to a certain standard, has any part of his 'sheltering' (for lack of a better term) been unjust/unfair/unwarranted?
Some people seem to not understand that, just because a teacher/mentor is hard on someone doesn't mean he doesn't want to see that person succeed. Tortorella had a love/hate relationship of sorts with Lecavalier and Prospal in Tampa. They both say that they became better players because of it. Recently, we've seen it with Del Zotto. A lot of people worried that Tortorella ruined him. He came back better than ever. The way that Kreider has been shipped back and forth between the AHL and NHL has been somewhat unfair to him, but that's not a Tortorella issue, as he had no choice with all the injuries and underwhelming roster depth situation. Torts said one of the reasons for making moves for Clowe and Brassard was because it allowed the team to send Kreider (and JT Miller) back to the AHL where they were better suited. Though I don't think anyone would call how Kreider has been handled ideal, the only people who insist on shoveling blame onto Tortorella or want to scream about him ruining Kreider are the people who hate Tortorella and are acting on confirmation bias.

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he's so young, very raw, oozes potential...has a rare combo of size, good speed, hands/puck skills, and a good shot... is this a hiccup/bump in the road that comes with development as a prospect (particularly that of the NCAA prospect ilk), or are you worried that he might not live up to lofty expectations in the form of being a top-6 certainty?
Is it just a hiccup or indicative of long-term problems? That's the million dollar question. As you know well I'm sure, no prospect is ever a guarantee. This was a very strange year for sure, between the lockout and lack of training camp and his injury issues and everything else. That being said, the same concerns were being floated about Kadri after he underwhelmed in his first couple of stints with the Leafs. Now look at him. We'll have a much better indication next season of where Kreider's career is heading but for now I'm not at all concerned.

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- what do you think about him regarding the intelligence aspect of the game? Safe to call him a moderately smart forward? Worse than that? Better than that? How's his knowledge of the game and the forward position?
Depends on what you mean by "smart." He doesn't have good vision. He's not exceptional in thinking the game by any means. But that's not where his value comes in. There are a lot of guys who have good foot speed but don't know how to use it; Kreider isn't one of those guys. He still has a lot of learning to do but he knows how to utilize his speed, goes to the right areas, and backchecks hard.

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