PHILADELPHIA -- New York Rangers rookie forward Chris Kreider, who played just 7:21 in Wednesday's 4-3 win against the Boston Bruins, will sit out Thursday's game here against the Flyers.
The 21-year-old, who stepped into the lineup and excelled in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring, has just one shot and a minus-2 rating in three games this season.
"He's just a kid," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "He's not even gone through an NHL training camp. He has not played a lot, and the regular season is a whole different ballgame as far as the grind of it and what you have to do. … This is a different situation. He understands."
Kreider, one of the few players at the rink for Thursday's optional morning practice, said he's going along with the plan.
"I trust the organization and I trust all the decisions they make and ultimately they'll make the right decision and have my best interests in mind," he told The (Bergen) Record.
Tortorella said Kreider has been spending extra time watching video with him and assistant coach Mike Sullivan, and that process will continue. However, he also believes watching the game from the press box can be a good thing for Kreider.
"We have him focus on people," Tortorella said. "I know last year when he was out we had him look at [Carl] Hagelin because they're similar with their speed. I think it'll help him. He's a good kid. But it's a situation where I have to make a decision on what gives us the best chance each and every night. There's been some struggles there, especially away from the puck. That's how young players, especially with this coach, are able to get on the ice, to understand that part of the game. We'll work with him and see where he goes with it."
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