With the suspension of Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider will probably end up getting his chance at playing this post season. I don’t think anyone could have predicted him coming in under the circumstances of suspension though. I can’t imagine Coach Tortorella will go with John Scott in this situation.
Where Kreider plays in the lineup is another question. Will he play a fourth line role, where he will be not productive or will Tort’s trust him on the third line or higher? That remains to be seen. But I can tell you this. If Kreider comes in and shows he can do what Hagelin does, and forecheck hard, use his speed to his advantage, he won’t be on the fourth line very long if at all.
I’m not sure the Rangers would be thrilled about playing him but what choice do they have? It’s a tall order for Kreider to come into the lineup with no NHL experience for sure, but if he succeeds we will know he is the real deal. However, if there’s any Rangers prospect or any other prospect out of the NCAA that can step into a NHL playoff game with no prior experience, it’s Kreider.
If Kreider doesn’t impress during this post season, whether he plays one game or more, I’m not going to judge him. He needs a training camp under his belt, as well as pre season games, and at least a full NHL season before anyone can label him as anything. So I ask everyone to hold off on their judgements for the time being.
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