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08-29-2013, 07:41 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Originally Posted by Zil View Post
- His AHL performance picked up markedly when he got sent down after his first stint with the Rangers.

- When Kreider got called back up after being sent down his play was much better, including lots of shots on goal and generally looking more assertive.

- Tortorella's usage of Kreider from his second call-up forward was completely indefensible. If Torts felt Kreider still wasn't ready and needed more seasoning, then he could've left him in the AHL to continue to consolidate his good play and build his confidence. If Torts felt Kreider was capable of contributing, then he could've given Kreider 10-15 minutes a night in the top nine. Instead, Tortorella decided to yank Kreider in and out of the lineup while playing him four minutes a night with fourth line scrubs. On the rare night when Kreider got a chance in the top nine, Torts would decide to dump him right back down on the fourth line after one or two shifts (like in Montreal).
Was he really better? Slightly. I remember a player who, instead of looking tentative on every shift as he did earlier, looked tentative on some and assertive on others. In some games, he still looked completely lost. He was still awfully inconsistent, and honestly that included game 4 against the Bruins. I wonder, sometimes, if people just didn't notice the shifts where he was completely brainless because he had shifts where he looked like a legitimate NHLer, even a very good one.

Now, understand something. I'm not criticizing Kreider here. The hallmark of nearly all young players is inconsistency. There is definitely a certain logic that, in important games, the guy you put on the ice is the one who you know you're going to get a certain thing, even if that thing is not as high quality as an inconsistent player's good shifts. And all of the games after Kreider's second call up were important games.

I had a lot of problems with the way Tortorella handled the team last season. The way he handled Kreider wasn't one of them.

By the way, every player projected in our team's top-6, with the exception of Nash, started on the 3rd line or lower when they broke into the league. That even includes Brad Richards. The idea that Kreider isn't going to have to do the same thing is, frankly, ridiculous.

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