No one has been a bigger supporter of Chris Kreider than me, but I am starting to doubt him and I think many people in the New York Rangers organization are doing the same.
There is no questioning Kreider’s talent. He is 6-foot-3, 201 pounds and is a gifted skater with great hands for his size, but he has not been able to put all his talent into steady, consistent play. He continues to make the same mistakes over and over again. This includes blown assignments in the defensive zone and stupid penalties.
Fans and “experts” bashed John Tortorella because he did not insert Kreider into the lineup. All the “experts” said that Tortorella just didn’t like his game. But instead of bashing Tortorella, which people love to do anyway, people should look at Kreider’s play.
He is just too raw right now to be an effective player at the NHL level. Maybe some more time in the AHL will help him discover his game. It is way too early to give up on him though. We have to remember that he is only 22-years old. Not everyone is going to be able to burst onto the scene and becoming a star at a young age.
Most players have to go through the process. Kreider’s process might take a little longer than most people expected, but if it makes him a better player in the future, it is necessary to keep him off the roster. Don’t be surprised if Kreider ends up being sent down by the end of the week.