Oct
12

Someone needs to score other than Mika Zibanejad

October 12, 2017, by

mika zibanejad

It’s been an interesting start to the season, hasn’t it? Jeff Gorton and Alain Vigneault have toyed with our emotions, albeit inadvertently, with their roster decisions. The team has toyed with our emotions by scoring a ton, not scoring ever, and playing a combination of great defense and Swiss cheese defense. All in all, it’s been one of the more entertaining starts to the season since the 2013-2014 season. You know, the one where Tomas Hertl deked Martin Biron into retirement.

The main positive that has been the focus of attention has been Mika Zibanejad. With five goals this season, Zibanejad has opened this season the way he did last year before breaking his leg. He’s seemed to have found a home in the Ovi spot on the powerplay, and with Kevin Shattenkirk feeding him one-timers, he’s poised for a big year.

The only problem is that Zibanejad is the only person scoring, accounting for half of the Rangers goals thus far in this young season. Simply put, the other players that the Rangers have been counting on to score need to start putting pucks in the net.

The KZB line has been phenomenal, Mats Zuccarello has four points, and JT Miller has three. However outside of that, the scoring has run dry. Kevin Hayes and Michael Grabner have just one assist, and haven’t been overly impressive yet. Rick Nash has been a force, but remains scoreless this season. Jimmy Vesey is certainly not off to the start he had last year, either, joining Nash on the scoreless train.

Now this won’t last all season, but when only one line/player is scoring, the Rangers are going to be pretty easy to beat. The problem doesn’t get easier either, as the schedule toughens up for the rest of the month, with games against six teams with realistic playoff hopes coming up.

What? You thought all the focus would be on Alain Vigneault?

"Someone needs to score other than Mika Zibanejad", 5 out of 5 based on 8 ratings.
Categories : Forwards

46 comments

  1. Egelstein says:

    “You know, the one where Tomas Hertl deked Martin Biron into retirement.” That one got a literal LOL from me at the office. Nice.

  2. amy says:

    it would be nice if Nasher started to score or Kreider or even Zucc it is not good

    • Mintgecko says:

      Shhh Amy, Nash has been phenomenal and excuse me but Dave said Kreider has been apart of that KBZ line so no worries there.

      Dave is bias, he’ll always put a little something in his articles to make sure that divide is there amongst us and then a on the side joke for the roaches to eat up.

      • Reenavipul says:

        Ziba doesn’t score at least 2 of his goals without Kreider being net front, so find a better argument.

    • Richter1994 says:

      I love Nash, but he appears slower than last year. Age (and wear and tear) is definitely getting the better of him. He doesn’t have the snap in his shot he used to have. I think we have an $8M defensive forward this year.

    • Lace says:

      I wonder if Grabner is going to regress the way he did on Long Island. I don’t expect him to score the way he did last year but it’s not unreasonable to expect Grabner to break 25 goals this season.

  3. Creature Feature says:

    If we had another forward, absent of Fast, I am sure someone from the 2nd or 3rd line would be sitting. Fast will make this team great again.

  4. Spozo says:

    J.T. has been fine at center but I still say he’s better on the wing. This is exactly why I didn’t want to gut the center position with the assumption that J.T. would fill in. You fill a center position with him but subtract from the wing, where he is better.

    • Al Dugan says:

      Hate to break it to you, Spozo, but he truly isn’t that good.

      • Spozo says:

        Miller is not that good?

        • Creature Feature says:

          He really isn’t. Everyone talks like he and Hayes are superstars. Look at the stats, they are typical 3rd line players on playoff teams.

          • Reenavipul says:

            How many 3rd line players pot 22 without PP time?

          • Spozo says:

            I never said he wasn’t a s upper star.

            I said he was better on the wing than center. And certainly better than whoever takes his minutes on the wing if shifts to center.

            And 56 points is a third line winger?!?!

            He would have been 4th on the Penguins in scoring last season. How is that 3rd line production?

            • ANTHONY says:

              I HAVE TO AGREE MILLER WHILE NO NOT A SUPERSTAR IS A VERY SOLID PLAYER AND HE HAS BEEN BETTER THAN HAYES HAS SO FAR. CAN’T STAND HOW HAYES PLAYS, MOVE HIM AND A COUPLE PICKS FOR A BETTER CENTER (“DUCHENE”) DO CARE WHAT PEOPLE SAY HE MUCH BETTER THAN HAYES, THEN WAIT FOR ANDERSON AND CHYTIL TO DEVELOP.

          • Richter1994 says:

            Miller and Hayes are clearly not superstars but the are good NHL players with Miller better than Hayes.

            Prediction: Hayes gets traded in a package at some point for a center upgrade.

  5. Reenavipul says:

    As opposed to Mike Yeo, I don’t think AV has a plan B any given night.

  6. Turk617 says:

    anyone missing Stefan now?– yes I know he wasn’t worth 6 mil a year–but he seemed to stablize the middle….unless Hayes steps up and others pick up the slack (Nash, Krieder, Miller)—it will be hard to find goals—can’t expect a shutout from Hank to win a game….78 games left–but it seems to be getting late a bit early….

  7. Ray says:

    It’s a bit early to rave about the KBZ line and pan everyone else. What has excelled so far is the first powerplay unit. And yes, Zibanejad has been a great finisher and his linemates have done their part.

    However, at even strength, KBZ has one goal in four games, not really good enough for your top line (hardly phenomenal).

    The Ranger weakness is even strength — and Zibanejad is as much of a culprit as anyone.

  8. Arisrules says:

    We’ve run into some hot goalies so far. I agree though the lack of production is worrying.

    My bigger problem right now is the lack of a true shutdown center (sorry Hayes getting heavy d-zone starts is insane, but typical AV), and the d-man pairings are crazy.

    – alex

    • Spozo says:

      But the issue there is that someone has to get those d-zone starts. If not Hayes than who? Zib has been the best forward by far so you can’t make him start in the D-zone as much. Miller is still an andventure defensively (and probably not viewed as a long term center right now). So it’s either Hayes or Desharnais.

      • Arisrules says:

        Look hypothetically it would be Desharnais, but I don’t think he’s the guy. There were cheap depth center options available in the off-season and Gorton chose not to go after them. So right now we are rolling Hayes out in a position to fail.

        The defense is a shambles and this coach is a farce.

  9. Mythdoc says:

    Smith back in for Kampfer. Holden still in, Tony D still out. Miller back on wing. DD centering line 3. Carey centering line 4.

  10. Richter1994 says:

    The issue is the same as the last 3 years:

    Forwards with no scoring hands.
    Ranger forwards that pass way too much.
    Very few Rangers go to the net for rebounds.

    The result of this is what I said yesterday: No real 2nd chance shots or rebounds.

  11. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    Agree 100% Richter, and also agree with Dave’s point above.

    Reposting part of what I wrote in reply to Becky’s article…

    Your second reason to panic is bang on correct. That’s my biggest concern. Everyone focuses on AV, Hank, our defense. What most forget is that after last year’s hot start, our offense was really, really mediocre from mid-February through the playoffs. So far this year, other than on the PP and the KZB line, it’s extremely unimpressive. I don’t care who you bring in as coach, or even the defensive pairings. If our so-called “star” forwards don’t play that way, we are a .500 hockey team at best and will NOT make the playoffs. So to me, this is much more about whether our forwards REALLY are good enough than any other concern. That’s the biggest elephant in the room right now.

    • Richter1994 says:

      Do I blame AV for not having a Cup since he’s been here? I’m 50/50 on that, but put a gun to my head and I say “no.”

      But that doesn’t mean he gets a pass. He has Holden on the top pair with McD. Is he out of his mind? He’ll put every other D man in the top pair except for the guy that might warrant it, DeAngelo. Maybe having a steady presence in McD would help the kid.

      Instead, your coach (lol) is determined to put extinct efing dinosaurs in important roles. He is itching to get fired for sure.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Well, I have to admit I am not wild about these pairings, but it’s four games and tinkering is hardly unusual. To me, given the contract he was given, if the Rangers are competitive, he will surely survive this season. If they spiral out of control, and/or there actually is REAL reporting of player dissatisfaction instead of Fake News nonsense, then yes, he will be fired and I would be the first to say he SHOULD be fired.

        But given his track record of playoff seasons and usually top third of the league performance, if he has one off year, that probably doesnt doom him if he falls just short as Torts did in 2010.

        • Richter1994 says:

          Let me ask you, HOW, does the coach not give the McD-Shatty pairing 10 games. He didn’t even give them 2 games, and then has the nerve to preach “chemistry.” I think there’s something wrong with him, lol.

          • John B says:

            Let’s be fair here Tony.

            It was 4 periods. They were together for 4 periods.

            I think that’s significantly longer than Chytil got, and we saw the ability to evaluate 12 minutes total hockey played. So if we can properly evaluate in 12 min, imagine the know-it-all ability with 80 minutes!!!!

            • Richter1994 says:

              lol, I know, it’s just insanity. I mean, do you have to be a “NHL coach” to know that these are asinine decisions?

              I read AV’s comments about Smith’s benching and how “he wasn’t making an example of him.” BS. How do you say that with a straight face? The man is certifiable IMO, delusional and not part of reality.

              He makes that statement and then he:

              Benched Smith
              Benched DeAngelo
              Moved Staal up to top pair
              Moved Kampfer to top pair for a while
              Now moved Holden to top pair

              Everyone except for the players that SHOULD be on the top pair. Yes, all 3 options other than Shatty or Skjei or DeAngelo, make perfect sense. LOL.

          • Reenavipul says:

            There was a reason Shatty was dropped to 3rd pair in StL as soon as Parayako showed up: As good as his offense was, his D was so poor that as soon as they had somebody who could do both, he was bumped down and made expendable. Washington found out the same thing. The Rangers have found out the same thing. Some here pointed it out, but the heart wants what the heart wants.

            This goes back to the disconnect that some people are blind to: the front office wants mobile D to help generate offense by bringing the puck up, forcing the forecheckers to come to him and break their shape. AV wants guys who can defend(even when they can’t) to break guys loose with the stretch pass as soon as the D takes possession, doesn’t want what the front office wants. DeAngelo’s turnover against Toronto that led to a goal was 77 doing as he was told, he just put it off a teammate’s skate. But it’s square pegs into round holes and a benching at the slightest mistake for those types.

            To those who think this doesn’t exist? Let me present a list of players who fit the profile.
            Dan Boyle
            Keith Yandle
            Kevin Shattenkirk
            Tony DeAngelo

            What’s been their deployment pattern?

            Not to mention the signings that haven’t worked out demonstrate the front office intent to find a certain type of player:
            Bodie
            Gilmour
            Pionk(early days)

            But what is critical is that *both* D need to be able to do this on occasion so when the other team starts to overplay the tendency, the D now zig when they zag.

            You do that, break their shape even worse, headman up, gain the zone and play what their D is giving you. They have the guys to cycle, it doesn’t need to just be a quick scoring chance and back to firewagon hockey the other way. I’m not sure Hank can play that game as easily as he used to.

            It’s nice to win pretty, but you gotta know how to win ugly up front. Not every night, but enough to know that it’s in the arsenal come playoff time. Drop it on teams on their 2nd night of a B2B to start.

            • Richter1994 says:

              Good post my friend. I have suspected prior and now even more so that there is a growing rift between AV and Gorton. Gorton has AV’s replacement already behind the Rangers’ bench. He just has to move to the middle of the bench.

      • Blue Seat says:

        Good stuff Richter. Not a lot of words, but important issues AV generates. Especially “itching to get fired”, you think so at times. Makes strengths weaknesses, and unfortunately for him and the Rangers, can’t do the reverse, but he tries.

        • Richter1994 says:

          Common sense, this is what seems to be lacking with our coach. And he has the benefit of video replay. I would love to be in on one of those sessions and ask him what he sees with some of faves that we don’t. Frustrating.

  12. Florida Tom says:

    Hrivek was put on waivers by Calgary, we should give him a chance over cracknell.

  13. Blue Seat says:

    Good stuff Richter. Not a lot of words, but important issues AV generates. Especially “itching to get fired”, you think so at times. Makes strengths weaknesses, and unfortunately for him and the Rangers, can’t do the reverse, but he tries.

  14. Bloomer says:

    Maybe AV can pick up a few coaching pointers from Torts tommorow night.

Leave a Reply