Mike Sielski at the Wall Street Journal reports that one of the biggest reasons for Chris Kreider's struggles this season and John Tortorella's refusal to use him is that he still needs to learn how to play a team game.
Here's Gordie Clark on shortcomings he noticed in Kreider's game when scouting him…
"There was a lack of knowledge on how to play a team game. He was so fast and so strong, he was able to go and do things on his own. There was a lot of projection that had to get done, and one thing that had to get done was, how does he learn to play a team game where you have a job to do?"
Kreider admits that he's he's still trying to master the subtler aspects of his sport, including the proper way to dump a puck in the zone.
…Kreider is a guy who's been able to dominate at every level due to his superior physical attributes. Because of that, coaches have run game plans through him, so he likely hasn't been forced to learn the nuances of playing a team game which you need to succeed in the NHL especially on a team coached by Torts.
…until he can prove to the Rangers coaching staff that he's become a more intelligent and complete player he's going to find himself in NHL/AHL limbo.
…on a positive note, we witnessed in the playoffs last season that he can compete at a high level in the NHL and I'm more than confident that he's going to figure it out sooner rather than later.