The New York Rangers have been hot through the month of February, as we’re here at the halfway point of the month and are on a season high 6 game winning streak, their longest of the year.
One of the main reasons is the King in net, Henrik Lundqvist, who is storming through the month with a 1.98 GAA and a .946 SV%. The third line of Grabner-Hayes-Miller has combined for 8 goals, and 23 points in the past 6 games making them the hottest line for the team, and one of, if not the most dangerous lines to skate in the league right now. Miller has set a career high for 44 points, and Hayes is closing in on breaking 45 as he sits with 42. Both are poised to high 50’s-low 60’s in points. Michael Grabner is looking to meet his career high of 34 goals, with his current 26.
With the team fully healthy, the lineup yells one thing – depth. And lots of it. With the likes of Pavel Buchnevich on the 4th line (due to depth and the possibility of his back problem) it gives the Rangers 4th line more scoring ability. Everyone is playing the game they’re supposed to. Derek Stepan has a total of 29 assists almost 30, which would tie with Captain Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello. Nash is going strong to the net. Rookie Jimmy Vesey has struggled as of late, recording a goal against CBJ the other night for his first goal in 5 games, but seems to be getting his legs back. The defense, is playing better, since their shaky month of January.
Ryan McDonagh continues with his strong play in their own zone as well as the offensive. Nick Holden has become one of the best Dmen on the team despite a rocky start to the season. Marc Staal and Dan Girardi, being probably the worst Dmen on the team last year, have been having bounce back seasons. Staal still isn’t the player he once was, but is doing better. Girardi was scratched against the Predators, and played extremely well against the CBJ, showing that rest is something he needs, but is impossible to get due to the competitiveness of the Metro. Kevin Klein, has gone from being one of the most reliable Dmen, to struggling this season. Despite his two goals Monday February 13th against the CBJ to help lift the rangers to a victory, in an important game for the standings. The real surprise, Brady Skjei, is probably in how he has developed so quickly, and the amount of offensive points he has put up this season, as he is in good company with the likes of Leetch for rookie points in a season. Antti Raanta stepped up when called upon against CBJ, not skipping a beat for his first game in a month and a half.
The strong play of all 4 lines, 3 defensive pairings, and the two goalies between the pipes, has been the reason for the string of 6 in a row, as they look to extend it tomorrow night in Brooklyn.
Author: @DunnyBabes via Twitter.