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Tortorella: Kreider might need more time in AHL

Jan 24, 2013, 9:40 AM EST

Chris Kreider #20 of the New York Rangers skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on January 20, 2013 in New York City. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 6-3.
(January 19, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Forward Chris Kreider enjoyed a storybook 2011-12 campaign.

He won the NCAA Championship with Boston College and then joined the New York Rangers for their run to the Eastern Conference finals. Along the way, Kreider broke an NHL record by scoring five goals before playing in his first regular season contest.

At the same time, Rangers coach John Tortorella said that the 21-year-old was “God awful” in some of those playoff contests and just three games into the Rangers’ campaign, there’s talk of sending Kreider to AHL Connecticut.

“That’s something we have to really talk about as an organization because I still think he needs to go through the process,” Tortorella said. “What’s best for Chris and us, we have to make a decision there because I don’t want him in a situation here, with the scrutiny on this club, hurting him as far as the process.”

Tortorella bluntly added that “he has not played well and he knows that.”

The coach has seen players in similar situations fail because they were asked to do too much, too fast and then never come back from that.

“I do not want to see that happen to him,” Tortorella said. “He has too many assets.”

Kreider has no points and a minus-two rating while averaging just 9:22 minutes this season.

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