New York Rangers‘ center, and arguably the team’s best forward to start the season, Brad Richards, commented on the recent call up of young winger Chris Kreider, who will be making his 2013-14 NHL regular season debut tonight at the Philadelphia Flyers.
According to Richards, Kreider was “uptight” in the preseason. Richards exact quote, courtesy of Larry Brooks of the New York Post, stated, “Chris was pretty uptight in the preseason, understandably… He wanted to make the team more than anybody.”
I get what Richards is saying, I really do, but Kreider needs to overcome his feelings and produce on the ice. I mean what does that ultimately say about Kreider? That he is scared, timid and doesn’t seize the day? That when the tough get going, he waits and tries to react instead of commit and make things happen? Not very notable qualities for a hockey player if you ask me.
There is good news in all of this, however. This season is still very young and so is Kreider. He is only 22 years old and is still developing, which is always a plus because that instills hope. He cannot be the savior of this Rangers’ team, but hopefully if he can just relax and play well right off the bat, then when the Rangers get their injured players back, everything can fall into place and the Rangers can finally start getting on track to where they need to be.
Going into tonight’s game, Kreider is said to have been doing really well and has been looking very sharp and quick in his last six AHL games, according to Rangers’ head coach Alain Vigneault. This is the same Kreider who looked slow and confused in the preseason, buy hey, maybe Richards nailed it on the head with his comments.
Not trying to put any more pressure on the kid, but if the Rangers want to succeed with the injuries they currently have, Kreider needs to produce and spark the team right away. He definitely has the talent to do so, but in order for that talent to emerge on the ice, he has to find a way to remain composed and just relax.