Hagelin’s suspension leads to Kreider’s opportunity

April 16, 2012, by

In case you missed it last night, Brendan Shanahan inexplicably suspended winger Carl Hagelin for three games for his hit on Daniel Alfredsson. While the hit may have warranted a suspension, the inconsistencies of the suspension rulings are what have most people perplexed. That is not the main point of this story though.

Hagelin’s loss is a big one. He has so much speed that he forces the opposition to play differently. He was one of the reasons why the Rangers had such a dominant season with his puck possession skills, and was clicking on the top line with Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards. He will be sorely missed in the Rangers lineup.

But with loss comes opportunity. The Rangers lose Hagelin, but now rookie Chris Kreider has an opportunity to show why he is so highly touted. Kreider has the speed to match Hagelin’s loss, but the real question is about his ability to click with the top line, and to match Hagelin’s dominant puck possession metrics.

Many are not too enamored with Kreider’s stats in college, and these are the people doubting his ability to perform in the NHL. But those are the same people that don’t understand that stats in college are only one aspect of a player’s potential. BC ran four lines evenly en route to a National Championship. The top scorers in the NCCA played on teams that ran two or three lines regularly. Thus, these scoring leaders get significantly more ice time than Kreider.

Kreider has all the tools to become a dominant NHL player. It’s why the Rangers didn’t want to trade Kreider in any deal for Rick Nash. Having the tools is one thing, performing is another. The rookie winger has an opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done in 21 years in this organization. He has the opportunity to debut –and make an impact– as a rookie in the playoffs. Tony Amonte was the last Ranger to do so in 1991, now Kreider will likely have his shot.

Categories : Forwards


  1. blueshirt in paris says:

    This is exactly why Kreider was signed and burned 1yr of his ELC. We can now replace speed with speed and size instead of Scott. Another good move by Slats and the org.

    Goodluck Chris!

    • Dave says:

      I was initially worried because if something like this didn’t happen, then they would have burned it for naught. But, it’s a good chance for him.

      • Blueshirt in Paris says:

        It really is a foregone conclusion that somebody will either get suspended, get injured or play sub-par in the playoffs.

  2. Sally says:

    Hate to rain on everyone’s parade, but I don’t think Kreider gets played tonight.

    • Zen says:

      I understand your implied logic…play Scott due to how rough the series is becoming. The problem with that is there is a reason why Scott hasn’t sniffed the ice in forever…he can’t play. He is abysmal. The Rangers will severely miss Hagelin’s speed, so they need to replace it.

  3. Zen says:

    If CK plays, I would expect Torts to play someone else with Gabs & Richards… maybe Feds or Dubi. I can see CK playing 3rd line minutes.

  4. Dave says:

    They could always put Bickel at wing and dress Eminger.

  5. Walt says:

    Dress Scott, bench Mitchell. Play Kreider, in place of Hags. This way if they want to take liberties, they will get their asses kicked!!!!! Scott doesn’t need to play at all, just his being on the bench will be enough to makle Neal think twice.

  6. HARLEMBLUES says:

    3 GAMES IS A JOKE.Play Scott,Kreider and sat Mitchell or Feds and Eminger never sees the ice.Keep pounding every Senator with the puck,put shots on net and MDZ watch your skate.

  7. Chris F says:

    Big John Scott might add some fireworks to game 3, but will he help the Rangers win? Absolutely not.

    Kreider is unproven, and I’ve been one of his biggest skeptics, but I think the only call here is to replace Hagelin with Kreider, as CK is the only player who can remotely fill the Hagelin void.

    Good luck, kid!

  8. rob sahm says:

    i agree with sally i think scott will be in the lineup tonight but we might see kreider before the series is over