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Tortorella on Kreider: “Who knows what happens next year with him”

May 28, 2012, 3:05 PM EDT

Kreider

While John Tortorella was pleased with Chris Kreider‘s NHL debut, he was hesitant to predict the 20-year-old’s future.

“He’s going to go through the process,” the Rangers head coach said of his prized rookie on Monday. “Who knows what happens next year with him.”

It’s pretty clear Torts is tempering expectations, which could be sky high given what Kreider did this postseason: Five goals in 18 games, breaking a 59-year-old NHL record, etc. etc.

Kreider also has plenty to learn, something Tortorella pointed out prior to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. He admitted letting Kreider’s defensive lapses and errors in judgment slide because he didn’t want to “screw him up.”

“We’re not doing a lot of teaching and a lot of structure with him. It’s just the wrong time,” he told NorthJersey.com. “There’s enough things going through his head where we just want him to play. He’s had some breakdowns away from the puck. Those are things we’ve tried to teach a little bit but not too much.

“This is instinctive. He’s an instinctive player. We’re just trying to let him go.”

Translation: Instinctive for now is fine. But if Kreider’s with us next season, we’ll be teaching him plenty.

That, combined with the potential for a sophomore slump, is probably why Torts said what he did. He also clearly doesn’t want the media running wild with pro-Kreider stories…even though they already have.

“You guys have him playing 22 minute on the first line with some of the articles you write,” he said.

  1. geezgtfo - May 28, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    everyone is so high on the kid but forget that he didnt play any part of the regular season. i cant wait till next year when everyone has such high expectation and then he doesnt get near what people think now.

    • homerx - May 28, 2012 at 7:53 PM

      What makes you think he won’t succeed? He showed a lot of promise. Getting consistent line mates and daily coaching should only help. Who knows what he’ll become but I think he’s off to a solid start.

      • barkar942 - May 28, 2012 at 8:24 PM

        The kid has massive upside potential, but he must learn what the Rangers require as a player in their two-way system. I think he will be just fine replacing Dubi.

    • nicknyhc - May 29, 2012 at 6:08 AM

      If you can come up big in the playoffs after being called up, then you can play good regular season hockey. Sometimes the other way around is the problem…..i.e. Gaborik

  2. pastabelly - May 28, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Jerry York teaches pretty disciplined hockey at BC. These comments coming out make it sound as if Kreider is coming out of some crappy program.

  3. nicknyhc - May 29, 2012 at 6:06 AM

    As a Rangers fan I’m worried about this kid. He comes up huge in the playoffs and I think he definitely has the potential to become a great player, but the Rangers have a history of screwing these things up. They always end up ditching young players with potential.

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