The NHL lockout has created a pretty large spotlight on the Connecticut Whale. New York Rangers fans who can't see their typical brand of MSG hockey (which would be all of them) have turned their full attention to the Rangers prospects in Hartford.
One of those prospects is Chris Kreider, who isn't really a prospect at all, but this lockout is making things a little crazy.
But Kreider has gotten off to a slow start thus far in Connecticut, which has caused mild-to-major panic for some fans depending on who you ask. Kreider did quite a bit to silence some of those fears with a goal and an assist in the Whale's 6-3 victory over the Providence Bruins, but some people were expecting much more.
Technically, you can't blame them. Kreider did magical, magical things on hockey's biggest stage during the second and third round of the playoffs. It doesn't get much bigger than that. So people naturally expected that when Kreider moved down a level to the AHL, he would average somewhere around three goals a game. But that's simply not a reality.
Fact of the matter is, this is Kreider's first run through the regular season in professional hockey. He needs to get used to the grind of a full season. And, to be fair, the game against the Bruins was the best game he's had in the AHL this year. And, he has had chances, he just hasn't been able to put the puck into the back of the net. Well, until Saturday, which hopefully gets him going.
So, that's a long-winded way for me to tell you NOT to be worried about Kreider. Remember, numbers and stats aren't everything. Yes, they're an easy way to see production, but sometimes that doesn't tell the whole story. Kreider has been playing well for the Whale, the goals just haven't been there for him. Hopefully that changes.
But for now, relax, breath deep and stay safe during the hurricane.