Found October 26, 2012 on
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It’s fair to say that the Connecticut Whale have had an indifferent start to the season, stumbling to a 1-3-1 record to open the year. What the Whale’s start also suggests is that when you dig a little deeper there may be a need for patience in regard to prospect development.
With two points in his first five games Chris Kreider has hardly set the world alight. Christian Thomas has a single goal in five games, while JT Miller had three assists in his opening four games of the regular season before displaying all his potential with a breathtaking individual effort against Albany midweek.
Miller and Kreider in particular raised levels of expectation with their strong play in the preseason, however it’s fair to say only Miller is delivering at present. With regard to the prospects Rangers’ fans have possibly been guilty of getting ahead of themselves when thinking how ready Kreider and co were. Being NHL ready can take time.
Kreider is without question an elite prospect that is NHL ready – as his playoff performance last spring suggested – but talk of 30 or 40 goal rookie seasons at the NHL level were premature. If anything, Kreider’s muted start to the AHL season should temper expectation and not cause panic and anxiety. As the Whale struggled defensively it has been the up to the offense to play catch up and try and match teams stride for stride. Unfortunately the result has been the 1-3-1 start they currently have.
While the Whale is a young team on the whole, they will need to rely on the likes of Kris Newbury and Matt Gilroy to provide experience and veteran support if they are to have a successful campaign. Chris Kreider was/is expected to be an offensive leader but perhaps it is expecting too much. From a talent perspective there are not many young players in the entire AHL that can match his combination of physical gifts, his pro readiness and his skill set but perhaps it’s in his best interest that he’s taking his lumps right now.
Other highly touted prospects currently skating in the AHL such as Sven Baertschi (7pts in 6), Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent Hopkins (both 5 in 5 respectively) or Nino Niederreiter (5 in 3) are all off to better starts than Kreider. It doesn’t matter. A hockey journalist recently commented that during a lockout the best league in the world is not the KHL (where depth varies wildly) but is the AHL so that gives some indication that Kreider is playing against quality opposition. While his start is not ideal, it’s just that: a start.
Kreider is learning the pro game playing amongst veterans and against quality prospects game in game out and in a deep league while getting extensive game time. It’s not a concern that he’s had a relatively rough start but perhaps lucky for the Rangers that his learning curve is taking place in Connecticut rather than the bright lights and intense media scrutiny of New York.
While the likes of Kyle Jean, JT Miller and Kris Newbury are all off to promising offensive starts when it comes to prospect development the numbers aren’t the only thing that matters. Patience, ice time and tempering expectations (aka: keeping pressure to a reasonable level) are what really matters. Kreider will be a star whether he destroys the AHL or not; the only thing that matters right now is patience and game time.
BEST OF MAXIM
Adam Rotter of SNYRB has the translated tweets from Sweden, but it looks like Michael Del Zotto and Dan Girardi may be joining teammate Carl Hagelin in the HockeyAllsvenskan with Södertälje. This is just another blow to the fans who believe a season will begin sooner rather than later, as more players flock to Europe to find ice time.
It’s interesting to see Del Zotto heading...
Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that as of now, Henrik Lundqvist does not plan on playing in Europe unless NHL season is canceled. While Brad Richards is currently pondering options, but is not having any discussions with clubs in Europe. ...with Lundqvist being such a workhorse and Richards up there in age, I think the time off might be the best thing for those two...
NHL.com announced on Thursday the New York Rangers in conjunction with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation launched the third year of their special indoor youth hockey clinic.
Over the next several weeks, children will be offered a series of free street hockey sessions at area recreation centers, offering kids the opportunity to play the game while learning about the importance...
The Connecticut Whale won their first game of the season last night, beating Albany (the AHL affiliate of the Devils) 5-2. J.T. Miller netted his first AHL goal, as he simply deked Adam Larsson out of his jock en route to the goal. You can see the goal in the embedded highlights.
Kyle Jean (again), Tommy Grant, Andrew Yogan, and Brandon Segal also scored for the Whale. Segal, Marek...
Jag har också fått höra att SSK är på väg att landa Dan Girardi och Michael Del Zotto.
— Jonas Lindeblad (@Gronvitasumo) October 26, 2012
Translation: I have also been told that SSK is about to land Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto.
SSK is the Swedish team Carl Hagelin is currently playing with.
...guess Del Zotto had a change of heart.
BRASS BONANZA TIME!!! #Whale win 3-1 see you all tomorrow night! #bleedgreen
— CTWhale (@CTWhale) October 27, 2012
The Whale are now 2-3-1 on the season.
Whale goals were scored by Tommy Grant, Brandon Segal and Ryan Bourque (EN).
Cam Talbot made 26 saves in his first game of the season.
Chris Kreider went pointless in his return from a one-game suspension....
HARTFORD, October 24, 2012: Connecticut Whale general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that goaltender Scott Stajcer has been assigned from the Whale to its ECHL affiliate, the Greenville Road Warriors.
Stajcer, a rookie out of the Ontario Hockey League and a fifth-round draft pick (140th overall) by the parent New York Rangers in 2009, was 0-2-0 in three appearances...
In an effort to lighten the mood during the lockout, The New York Rangers Blog will be writing faux recaps for every Rangers game missed due to the work stoppage. Enjoy.
PITTSBURGH - The injury embroiled Pittsburgh Penguins received help from two unexpected sources tonight on their way to a 2-1 OT win over the New York Rangers with the vice president in attendance tonight.