With six goals in the eight games since being reassigned to the CT Whale, Chris Kreider seems to have rediscovered his scoring touch, but that doesn't necessarily mean the Rangers are ready to call him back up. Here's John Tortorella (via Bergen Record)…
“We’re getting good reports,” Tortorella said. “When he started scoring some goals, there was still some things in his game that Kenny (Gernander, the Whale’s coach) and those guys wanted him to work on. There are still some things for him that need be worked on. But the reports are good over the weekend. In the two games won, we got some really good reports on him. He’s certainly in our discussion along with number of other people. We’ll see where it goes.
“We don’t want to keep on knee jerking him back and forth, we want to make sure if we do (call him up), we feel he’s ready to play.”
Tortorella also discussed the difference between JT Miller and Kreider…
"The reason why J.T. is playing with us right now and Chris is not is we felt J.T. is doing more things on the good side of it. He makes some mistakes. We’re dying to get a guy that’s 6-foot-4, 6-foot-3 that can skate like hell into our lineup. But we’re not going to do it at the expense of him, in hurting (Kreider) as far as developing him.”
…while I've been calling for Kreider to be recalled, I do understand the argument against it. He has played the role of a yo-yo this season, and just because he's had a nice eight game stretch doesn't mean he'll magically dominate at the NHL level. Having said that, he makes the Rangers line-up so much deeper. Especially if he's on that third line, which continues to drive me mad.
…as far as Miller getting a longer leash, I also agree with Torts. Because of Miller's borderline cockiness, he's not afraid to make mistakes and when he does, he's not phased by it. His game is also more well-rounded than Kreider's. So if he's not contributing offensively, he's likely helping out physically or on defense.
Thought Rick Carpiniello at the Rangers Report had a great quote from a member of the Rangers organization on Miller's confidence level…
"Here’s what somebody inside the team told me about Miller taking that penalty shot (vs. Carolina): 'I guarantee you his heart rate didn’t even change.'"