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Tortorella critiques Kreider: He was “God awful” in some playoff games

Jan 17, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

Chris Kreider Getty Images

No doubt about it, Chris Kreider made a splash with the New York Rangers during the 2012 playoffs. Teams don’t send their assistant GMs to “camp out” for just any player, after all.

It doesn’t appear that he’s a lock to make the team’s roster right out of training camp, however.

Tortorella told the New York Daily News on Monday that the young forward is still fighting to make the team’s roster, but the most entertainment came in how he described Kreider’s need for defensive improvement.

“It’s part of it, but it’s his whole game,” Tortorella said. “He’s still young, he’s a kid that came in and played some really good games and then was God awful in some games during the playoffs. And that’s what you expect out of a kid. So we want him to work at all parts of his game, and then we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Torts went on to praise his “gift of skating,” so it’s not like he was merely negative about the Boston College alum.

For what it’s worth, Kreider seems to agree that he’s not a sure thing.

“I don’t feel settled,” Kreider said. “I’m not proven, but I feel like I’m pushing myself. I’m not settled. I like that, though.”

Tortorella isn’t known for making it easy on anyone, really, so Kreider should probably get used to the challenge.

  1. vindicatus - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    I’m going to love watching the “best team on paper” implode. The dysfunctional NYR are like the Jets of the hockey world: overhyped perennial losers with a loudmouth blowhard for a coach. They’re the little sisters of another NY metro team who, like the Giants, also happens to play in NJ.


    • oconnor007 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      How exactly are they dysfunctional? Torts being honest is nothing new…

    • rich859 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      Go back to watching the Jersey Shore and leave hockey to people who actually know about the game. As much as I don’t like the Rangers, they are a solid hockey team with a great mix of speed and toughness. They are a very tough team to play against and can’t wait for them to play my Bruins on opening day.

      • 950003cups - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        Everyone wants their team to play the Rangers on opening day, and everyday after that. This is the team that had to squeek through the playoffs by collapsing every player around their goalie in order to stay alive. It worked with teams like Ottowa and Washington. But once a REAL team with a REAL coaching staff got a sight of it, they cracked them 3 straight games to close them out for the next 40 years.

        They’re more impressed with themselves than anything else. All you hear from their fanbase is “We have more fans than you. HA!”

        (my favorite) “Nobody cares about boring trap hockey” then they can’t explain why playing like a bunch of human sandbags in the playoffs was “cool”

        Everytime we lose a player, people think we’re done. Everytime the Rangers ADD a player, they plan a parade.

        ONE CUP IN 72 YEARS… and counting

      • dyinglemur - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        Well said, rich859. As a huge fan of the Rangers, I too am looking forward to playing your Bruins. A very worthy, and tough opponent.

        See Vindicatus? That’s how gentleman hockey fans interact. If I had a white glove I would slap you with it right now.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      I dislike the Rangers very much, but the jets comparison is wrong. I mean both coaches don’t seem to have filters but the Rangers are very good. I’d say NYR And the Bruins are the top two in the East. Deep forward group, talented dcorps, and maybe the best goalie in the league. The Flyers couldn’t beat them once last season. Hate em but they’re far from dysfunctional.

  2. cruuuzcontrol - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    I think the Islanders are the more appropriate Jets comparison. Nice try, buddy.

    Torts is trying to manage expectations for Kreider with these comments. He didn’t play so lights-out for the Whale during the lockout, so I think Torts is trying to create an environment for Kreider to succeed and gain confidence. Kreider could be extremely effective as the LW on the third line. With Gaborik moving there, the Rangers really have some excellent options for top 3 LWs, with a lot of talent and especially speed that will result in tough matchups for opposing coaches.

  3. rpiotr01 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Typical Torts stuff. Manage outside expectations for the guy, while at the same time poking and prodding him to see how he responds and see what it takes to get the most out of him.

  4. jpelle82 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    i dont know what else this kid needs to do after watching the games last year…but i’m not around him either. maybe some maturity? we shall see i guess, i find it hard to believe he wont be on the day one roster

    • barkar942 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      In the words of Torts, there were some “God awful” defensive mistakes made by the kid. However in Kreider’s defense, he got a crash course in Tort’s system while being thrown into playoff hockey right from college hockey. Tough to get everything right for anyone.
      There is nothing but an up side to this kid. It will be fun to watch this kid grow this year.
      And Vindicatus,
      This type of non-call on Elias for interference changed the whole complexion of the series.
      Once the Rangers and Yotes were out, who watched? Oh yeah, you and a few of your Devils fans. Horrible finals TV ratings cause no one likes either team.

      • barkar942 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:59 AM

        Let me rephrase that- neither team has a sizable fan base. Not meaning to insult fans of either team.

      • nikolainyr - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        No kidding on that interference. Elias hooks and hangs on to right D-Man, pulls himself to the ground doing so, and Girardi has no chance to challenge Kovalchuk’s shot.
        That looked like late 90’s Devils hockey

      • sheapuck - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        Somebody’s pacifier fell out. There may be words there but I I hear are WAHHHHHHHHHHH!

      • thecheeman - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:11 PM

        Devils fan here. Anyone saying the Rangers aren’t a stacked team is a loon. They have great players at every position, and frankly the biggest benefit to Kreider is that he’ll be a natural fan favorite so he’ll take the focus off Nash. Nash won’t be good in the spotlight, and Gaborik and Richards aren’t likable enough to take it away. Kreider can do that.

        However, if you’re a Ranger fan and you’re complaining about that play by Elias you’re just being a baby.

  5. dkphilly1122 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    The Rangers aren’t the best team on paper……that would be the Penguins. As a Flyer’s fan I hope the Rangers don’t do good, but I am sure King Henrique will have a great year as always. The addition of Nash can’t hurt either. Torts is the most honest person, sometimes he says too much, but you gotta respect him for not holding back. Kreider will be just fine though as he developes more and becomes accustomed to the NHL.

    • supercoop8 - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      Rangers have arguably the best set of defensemen in the league, a vezina winning goalie, and three very good lines with a poor fourth. Their forwards aren’t as deep this year in role playing penalty killers and energy guys but they are muchhh better/more complete on paper then the penguins. Either way I hate both teams.

  6. 950003cups - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Just try to go back to the days when Ranger fans were pumped you guys were when you added Redden, Gomez, Holik, Rosival, Kasparitus, (tossing Graves for) Samuelsson, (tossing Leech) for Max Kondratiev and Jarkko Immonen, Drury………………………….

    Shall I continue?

    Loser organization is the NY Rangers. Yes, they are the Jets of the NHL. They make splash signings, and later we realize the splashing was the team drowning.

    • windmiller4 - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      I wouldn’t say loser organization, they just have a GM who isn’t afraid to throw money around. He did get assets back for Gomez, so that wasn’t a complete waste. Plus as Lundqvist and Kreider have proved, they draft well. They’ve made some big mistakes, but somehow still managed to correct, or get rid of those mistakes and ice a good team. It will be interesting though to see if the same could happen to Nash, Richards, Gaborik, Etc.

  7. letsgopens8771 - Jan 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    I completely disagree with Torts on Kreider. Kreider came into his own in the playoffs, especially against the Capitals. They should give him a chance and Tortorella is a great coach but he needs to learn when to shut his mouth.

    • woodstakes - Jan 17, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      Yeah, what does a National Hockey League head coach know… right?

      • 950003cups - Jan 17, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        I could see Torts sensing a bit of an ego coming from a kid who, considering the situation, had a major debut. To him its all easy. Hasn’t had to endure an 82 game season in the NHL with scouts watching your every weakness and bad habits. This is Torts’ way of keeping him from rotting at a young age. I like very few things about the rangers. Torts is the one aspect I DO like.

  8. puddywasright - Jan 17, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Ranger fans wanted Torts head after the first eight games last year– now they love him- Fickle. Am I the only one who recalls the signs in the Garden crowd– “Tort must go” “Bring Avery Back”.
    Silly Ranger fans.
    He’s a good coach but a bit of a tool at the press mike. Also, he’s a hot head and its fun to see him implode.

  9. banger60 - Jan 17, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    I like the kid, give him a chance to redeem himself, that was last year.

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