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2012 stanley cup playoffs

It’s Still Unclear Whether the Chris Kreider Era Will Begin Tonight

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 7: Chris Kreider #19 of Boston College skates with puck against Boston University at the TD Banknorth Garden in the Beanpot Tournament on February 7, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Steve Babineau/ Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Cris Krieder

John Tortorella briefly spoke with reporters this afternoon — he said all of 73 words, according to the Globe and Mail — but he wouldn't reveal who would be taking the suspended Carl Hagelin's spot in the lineup tonight. One option, of course, is Chris Kreider, the highly touted prospect who began practicing with the team last week after signing an entry-level contract following his NCAA season with Boston College. But Tortorella could also opt to play the 6-foot-8 John Scott, especially considering how the series took a turn for the nasty on Saturday. (For what it's worth, Andrew Gross tweets that Scott had a nameplate above his locker stall today and Kreider did not. Make of that what you will.) That said, if the 20-year-old Kreider does indeed make his NHL debut tonight — in Game 3 of a suddenly heated playoff series — we'll again suggest keeping your short-term expectations in check. By all accounts, Kreider has a bright future, but that's an awfully tough spot for someone who this time last week was still making sure he wouldn't lose any college credits if he decided to forgo his senior season.

Photo: Steve Babineau/2011 Steve Babineau