The inevitable finally happened Wednesday when the New York Rangers announced they were recalling Chris Kreider. The former first round pick has spent a ton of time bouncing from the AHL to the NHL this year, and is finally making another stop with the big club after scoring six goals in eight games with the Connecticut Whale.
When asked about Kreider before the Rangers beat the Devils on Tuesday, John Tortorella said that all the reports were good on Kreider, meaning sooner rather than later we could expect him to be called up.
That's exactly what happened.
Look, it was almost impossible for Kreider to come into this shortened season and hit the expectations he set during last year's playoffs. For starters the NHL lockout pushed him into the AHL, and an early season slump saw him run into some troubles when the NHL lockout ended and he came back to the big club.
Right now? Kreider has his swagger again. His confidence is back. He's scoring on the power play, he's making things happen for the Whale. Tortorella needs to give Kreider the same treatment he's given J.T. Miller this entire year. Give him about 15 minutes a night and just let him fly. Make mistakes, take risks and let him know he can play hockey without having to be worried about being stapled to the bench.
The Rangers need Kreider's offense. They need his speed. They need him to be the guy he was back in the playoffs.
He can't be that if he isn't given the opportunity.
It's time for Tortorella to give him that opportunity. It's time for the Rangers to do right by Chris Kreider.