May 28, 2012, 3:05 PM EDT
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.
- More like it? Avs crush Canucks 8
- Video: Beauties from Perry, Eberle and Duchene 3
- Ghost Time: Flyers recall Gostisbehere from AHL 24
- Trotz calls Healy’s comments on Ovechkin (and Ovechkin’s mom) ‘disrespectful’ 26
- Report: Billionaire wants NHL team in Vegas; new Coyotes owner ‘sees flipping the team as a good investment’ 23
- Chara has PCL tear, out 4-6 weeks 19
- Coburn, MacDonald out four weeks with lower-body injuries 20
- Red-hot Quick sets new Kings’ franchise shutout record 10
- Reports: Chara could miss at least 4-6 weeks with knee injury 13
- Video: Red Wings’ stars stun Penguins with late surge 32
- Video: Two quick third-period goals propel Flyers over rival Penguins (82)
- Updated: Kings’ Voynov arrested for domestic assault, suspended indefinitely (78)
- Babcock: ‘Price definitely initiates contact’ in disallowed Datsyuk goal (59)
- ‘It’s stupid': Tempers flare after Kesler’s late charge on Granlund (54)
- Lucic apologizes for obscene gesture: ‘I’m obviously not proud of what I did there’ (45)