Goal Breakdown: Mika Zibanejad 2014-15/2015-16 seasons

Mike-Zibanejad

Although I was a big fan of Derick Brassard I’m also a believer that when one of your favorite players is traded its best to just stomach it and move on. With that said I think the Rangers got the better player in the trade, and am pretty excited about Mika Zibanejad.

All the excitement got to me and I decided to do a dumb thing: I broke down every one of his goals (shootouts included) for the past two seasons. You can catch the lists below, which correspond with the two following videos, and afterwards I’ll recap a little bit of what I saw in case you want to skip to the big picture stuff.

2014-2015

  1. After the puck is jostled about in the neutral zone it comes back to the Senators’ defensive blueline, where the defenseman makes a long stretch pass for the Michalek entering the Canadiens’ zone. The Habs defenders strip the puck from Michalek as he attempts to stick handle through them, with Zibanejad trailing behind, scooping up the loose puck, and letting it fly in the high slot.
  2. A pretty basic shootout goal but something worth noting here is Zibanejad’s release, which is pretty nice.
  3. Karlsson flips the puck from the right side of the blueline down to the opposite corner, where it’s scooped up by Chiasson. Chiasson centers for Zibanejad, who’s coming across the top of the left circle towards the slot, who then flips the puck on net for the goal.
  4. After some back and forth along the right boards Zibanejad strips the puck off the opponent attempting to exit the zone just south of the blueline, flipping it to Alex Chiasson. Zibanejad then keeps driving to the net and Chiasson puts it right back to him, with Zibanejad putting on a little deke and backhand to score.
  5. A little scrappy action right in front of the net gets the puck to Bobby Ryan, who comes around the back of the net and sends it to Zibanejad planted right in front, who quickly puts it in the back of the net.
  6. On a 5 on 3 Zibanejad is working the left point just at the top of the left circle with Karlsson on the opposite side a bit higher up. They pass it back and forth before Zibanejad one-times it home.
  7. Bobby Ryan skillyfully enters the zone with Zibanejad coming down the middle and works it over to him, with Zibanejad flipping a quick shot on net to score.
  8. A nice play that’s all Zibanejad leads to a goal. 93 carries the puck out of the Senators’ zone, beats his man and puts it to the defender posted up at the offensive blueline, who then taps it back to Zibanejad as he enters the zone with space. Zibanejad puts a shot on net, gets his own rebound, and scores a wraparound goal.
  9. Bobby Ryan enters the zone with some nice stickhandling skills and finds a lane to let an outside shot fly, Zibanejad posted up in front of the net scoops the rebound and patiently brings the puck across the netmouth before backhanding it into the net.
  10. Mike Hoffman intercepts a pass in the defensive zone and carries it through the neutral zone, with Zibanejad beating his defender by a good margin. He passes it to number 93 as he enters the zone, fakes, and lights the lamp.
  11. Another shootout goal, another quick release. His moves aren’t complicated, but they get the job done.
  12. A defensive rebound makes it all the way out to Bobby Ryan at the top of the Senators’ zone, who then finds the seam and puts it to Zibanejad as he’s breaking into the offensive zone. Zibanejad stickhandles a little bit and snaps the shot for the goal.
  13. This shootout goal involves a little more stickhandling as he dekes coming through the offensive zone, but nonetheless involves that slick release to finish it.
  14. The puck makes it’s way from the blueline to the halfboards, then to Mike Hoffman in the way high slot for the onetimer. Zibanejad captures the rebound and finishes to put the Senators ahead.
  15. Bobby Ryan enters the zone cleanly down the wing and moves towards the slot with Zibanejad just on the other side of it down low. He makes a short pass across and then Zibanejad does the rest.
  16. The Senators win the puck off a face off at center ice, with Bobby Ryan carrying the puck into the zone. He then drops the puck off where it finds itself at the feet of some defenders. Zibanejad is entering the zone at this time and scoops up the puck, flipping it on net. The goalie makes the save, Zibanejad cashes in on the rebound.
  17. Zibanejad nabs the puck along the halfboards and drops it off for Bobby Ryan, who comes all the way around and down the slot with a defender on him. He puts it back to Zibanejad, parked in front of the net, as he crashes the net, with Zibanejad finishing the play.
  18. Zibanejad wins the draw, with the eventual carrier of the puck putting an outside shot on net as Zibanejad drifts in front of the goal. The goalie makes a stop but doesn’t control the rebound, and Zibanejad beats the defender and the goalie for the point.
  19. Nice work from Zibanejad on this one from start to finish. He chases the puck down behind the goal line, where it then makes its way to Mike Hoffman, who taps the puck to Wiercioch before it makes its way to the next defenseman skating by for the shot on net. Zibanejad, having moved from behind the goal line to the low slot, loses his defender and puts home the rebound.
  20. Another nice play from start to finish for Zibanejad. He gets the puck down low, passes it to Hoffman further down the goal line, who then drops it back for Zibanejad. He then comes out and around the circle, dropping the puck off for Bobby Ryan at the top of the circle. Ryan the works his way down low and makes a backhand pass from the side of the net to Zibanejad, who’s followed him down low. Zibanejad, who just beats his defender, then puts the puck in the back of the net to tie it.
  21. A solid breakout leads to a goal for the Senators. Moving through the defensive zone into the neutral zone, Mike Hoffman coming down the middle passes to Ryan on the right wing. Ryan then makes a drop pass for Hoffman, who skates along the right boards and then flips a backhand shot on net as Zibanejad skates by and tips it in.
  22. A pass from Hoffman along the boards makes its way to Ryan in the high slot, who’s being harassed by a defender. The puck is kicked out and floats down the slot when Zibanejad, parked in front of the net, scoops it up and scores.
  23. Shootout goal, same as what we’ve seen – not a lot of moves but a nice wrister and nice placement.
  24. Some scrappy play along the right halfboards and the puck is kicked out to Bobby Ryan, all alone at the top of the slot on the powerplay. He waits a little bit and then passes it to the opposite circle, where Zibanejad pulls the trigger and scores the goal.
  25. Karlsson works the puck from the high point down to Wiercioch at the top left circle on the powerplay, and Wiercioch takes the shot. Zibanejad, who was floating down from the top of the slot to the low slot as this is happening, scoops the rebound and puts it home.

2015-2016

  1. Chiasson carries the puck through the neutral zone into the offensive zone and drops it off at the blueline for Ryan Dzingel, who then creeps down a little bit towards the top of the circle and puts the pass across the slot of Zibanejad, who finishes.
  2. After some scrappy work in the corners Bobby Ryan flips the puck on net from just above the goal line. Zibanejad catches the rebound and waits patiently to slot it home for the goal.
  3. In a shorthanded situation Zibanejad challenges the opponent at the blueline and tips it ahead for himself, skating through the neutral zone into the offensive zone. He moves in on the goalie, puts the puck on his backhand, and flips the puck high for the goal.
  4. A little more stickhandling on this shootout goal, but a quick wrister nonetheless. I’d imagine Zibanejad sees some time in shootouts this upcoming season, but we’ll see.
  5. Another shootout goal, basically the same thing as above.
  6. Zibanejad wins an offensive zone draw and works the puck back to Cody Ceci, who passes it to Hoffman, and then back to Ceci at the point. Ceci rips the shot and Zibanejad tips it in.
  7. Empty netter, not much to see here.
  8. Ryan carries the puck in towards the net and tries to jam it but Quick makes the stop, Zibanejad jams it home for him.
  9. Hoffman dangles through the neutral zone and drops the pass off for Ryan, who lets an outside shot fly. The goalie leaves a big rebound however, and Zibanejad cashes in on the opposite side for the goal.
  10. Wiercioch takes a shot from the blueline that’s stopped by the goalie but not controlled, with some gritty play in front of the net eventually finding the puck on Zibanejad’s stick. He quickly puts the puck in the back of the net.
  11. A defensive rebound finds its way to Milan Michalek’s stick in the Senators’ own zone, and Michalek smartly makes a stretch pass to Karlsson as he’s breaking through the neutral zone. Karlsson has Zibanejad with him, whom he passes to, and Zibanejad does the rest, flipping a backhander high for the goal.
  12. A simple beautiful play – Bobby Ryan has the puck at the right circle on the powerplay, manages to get the puck across the slot to Zibanejad at the opposite circle. Zibanejad onetimes it nicely and it’s a powerplay goal.
  13. Shooutout goal again, same as we’ve seen.
  14. Zibanejad scoops the puck up at the Senators’ defensive blueline and then works it diagonally across the neutral zone into their offensive zone. Bobby Ryan receives the pass and moves in towards the net, but the puck is kicked out in front, where Zibanejad shovels it into the back of the net.
  15. A clean, simple 2-on-1 with Pageau coming down one side and Zibanejad coming down the other. Pageau passes the puck across, Zibanejad scores.
  16. This one’s a little weird, and difficult to see in the video. Chiasson puts the puck on net from a weird angle and it apparently banks in off Zibanejad.
  17. An outside shot, a rebound that makes its way to Zibanejad at the left circle, and a quick goal for number 93. You get the feeling that this guy’s going to be good at cashing in on rebounds.
  18. Stone puts the puck on net from a bad angle and Zibanejad catches it in front to complete the hat trick.
  19. Mika Zibanejad catches a pass coming from half ice as he skates through the neutral zone and enters the offensive zone, beating his man in the process. In all alone, he fakes and then shoots to score the goal.
  20. Karlsson takes an outside shot which gets caught up in traffic in front of the net – it makes its way to Zibanejad, who puts it away.
  21. As the Canadiens are attempting to break out of the zone Mike Hoffman intercepts the puck and puts it on net, as it’s then tipped in by Mika Zibanejad.
  22. Chiasson and Zibanejad do some work down low to get the puck to Mike Hoffman, who puts the puck on net. A juicy rebound makes its way back to Karlsson coming down from the point, who rips the shot. It careens off the boards and Zibanejad catches it and puts it in on a bad angle.
  23. Hoffman enters the zone and swings a pass across from the halfboards to Zibanejad in the slot, who kicks it around at his feet a moment before slapping the shot and scoring the goal.
  24. A faceoff win puts the puck on Karlsson’s stick, where it’s worked down to Zibanejad at the top of the right circle. He puts it across the slot to his teammate (couldn’t read the jersey number, sorry) who takes the shot. Zibanejad moves down low to catch the rebound, which he backhands in.
  25. The video’s a little tough on this one, but a centering pass from an opponent behind the net makes its way to Zibanejad’s stick and into the net more or less.

The first thing that sticks out to me about Mika Zibanejad is that he likes to go to the net. He’s a big dude, and he skates well, so this shouldn’t entirely come as a surprise, but it’s worth noting. A lot of his goals come off of rebounds down low as well, which should nicely compliment the other skilled forwards he’ll be playing with on either of the Rangers’ top two lines. Speaking of linemates you might notice that a lot of his goals come off of linkup play between him and either Bobby Ryan or Mike Hoffman. This seems to indicate that when he finds chemistry it’s sustainable, it’s just a matter of finding the right mix. Whether it’s with Nash, Zuccarello, Kreider, or Miller there’s no shortage of firepower up front for the Rangers, so it’s less a matter of if he’ll find chemistry with his linemates and more a matter of with whom. Other notable aspects of his game are his shot – he likes to flip backhand shots on net in close, he likes to onetime it on the powerplay, and he’s got a pretty quick release. While these videos aren’t totally indicative of how he’ll play for the Rangers (I’d almost rather see a compilation of all of his assists), it seems that he’ll be a nice addition to one of the Rangers’ top two lines.

"Goal Breakdown: Mika Zibanejad 2014-15/2015-16 seasons", 5 out of 5 based on 7 ratings.

8 thoughts on “Goal Breakdown: Mika Zibanejad 2014-15/2015-16 seasons

  • Jul 22, 2016 at 7:19 am
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    Thanks Pat, you put a ton of work in for this piece. Great job and analysis.

  • Jul 22, 2016 at 7:27 am
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    you will definitely see a better defensively built ranger team Mika can play defense and he is younger

  • Jul 22, 2016 at 7:55 am
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    Pat

    Nice !!!!!!!!!

    The following statement,” Speaking of linemates you might notice that a lot of his goals come off of linkup play between him and either Bobby Ryan or Mike Hoffman. This seems to indicate that when he finds chemistry it’s sustainable, it’s just a matter of finding the right mix”, is so true, but we all know Bozo will match “Z” with some people for a one minute shift, not to skate with the same two players for another 25 games !!!!!!

    As for this player himself, the more I read about him, the more I’m coming to the realization that we made a very good deal. I like the idea that he tends to crash the net, how novel a concept is that ? I also appreciate that he plays both ways, typical Swede, they are taught the right way to play the game. Let’s get the new season going already !!!!!!!! LGR…………………

  • Jul 22, 2016 at 8:12 am
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    “All the excitement got to me and I decided to do a dumb thing”

    Haha, a very candid confession. And boy did it ever. This reminds me of summers off from school when I was younger. My brothers and I would create player profiles for our entire hockey teams on Playstation NHL 199x. When our team was done, we made the Mighty Ducks characters. And it went on and on. So much so that eventually we would run out of memory on the console. Every summer, year after year.

    Pat I have a feeling you were kind of like us growing up. We were all Going Ham before going ham was a thing.

  • Jul 22, 2016 at 8:52 am
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    It seems eerily quiet on the Kreider contract front. I guess today we find out the deal. I do not think allowing arbitration to settle this will work for either side.

    • Jul 22, 2016 at 10:34 am
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      10 minutes later, Kreider re-signs.

  • Jul 22, 2016 at 9:59 am
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    What stands out to me is Bobby Ryan setting up most of his goals two years ago and Hoffman to a lesser degree last year.

    For Mika, he definitely has great hands in tight with the ability to elevate the puck close to the net. Also, his release on the shootout goals really stands out. The delayed release looks the same each time although the spot he hits on the net is different every time – definitely tricky for goaltenders to pick up the puck coming off his stick.

    I see him playing well with Zucc and not so much Nash.

    • Jul 22, 2016 at 11:15 am
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      I actually envision Mika playing with Nash and Zucc as his wings, both have excellent vision. I think he would be particular good with Nash because it seems like a lot of Mika’s goals come tracking the puck off chaotic plays and Nash has a tendency to manufacturing those type of situations by driving the net and taking low angle shots, not scoring as often as we would like but this is why I think Nash will benefit from the type of player Mika is and vise versa.

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