As the games get more and more important down the stretch, John Tortorella will also be looking to shorten the bench. Which was never more evident than with J.T. Miller (7:08) and Chris Kreider's (3:23) ice time during the Rangers 4-2 win last night.
Tortorella addressed that concern after the game...
"Quite honestly, I'm worried about the two kids. Not that I'm upset with them. I just think the stakes are high. We play so many close games. I just have to watch how they go through games. And do I trust them? I up in the air with it. Because quite honestly I don't want to mess with their development. But the stakes are too high right now. We'll see where we go with it."
...i think the trust level with Miller is much higher than with Kreider. And after listening to this quote, I really think the best thing for everyone involved is to send Kreider back to the Whale. And for the first time all year, I won't kill Torts for it. Because you know what? He's right. There's no margin for error right now. The Rangers are fighting for a playoff spot and, let's be honest, Kreider hasn't exactly lit it up this season in the AHL or NHL. So get him some pressure minutes with the Whale as they make their own run for a playoff spot then get Asham and his much needed toughness back in the line-up and let's make a real run at this thing.
...as far as Miller goes, I think it'll be a feeling out process for Torts. If the rookie is going well he'll get his minutes, if not, he'll get Bickel's seat at the end of the bench. Nothing wrong with a 20-year old getting limited minutes, especially if the team is going well, during a dog fight for a playoff berth. Assuming the Red Wings younger players aren't going to get 20 minutes a night down the stretch either.
Here's the rest of Tortorella's post game presser...
Remember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook or e-mail me at email@example.com.