The pressure scale – who from the Rangers is facing the most pressure this season?

With the roster mostly set and the offseason moves seemingly coming to a close, pending a pair of loose ends, we have hit the dog days of August. Not much is going on right now in the hockey world. Yet, interestingly enough, there is still a ton of action on social media about the Rangers. That’s how big the hype train is on this team.

With the hype train comes pressure. Pressure on old players, pressure on new players, pressure on rookies. In an attempt at fun, let’s label the pressure on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the least amount of pressure and 10 being the most amount of pressure, and assign some players on the roster with their appropriate pressure number.

Disclaimer: I am not expecting the Rangers to be overly good this year. They will be fun. They will likely not be as bad as last year. But are the playoff good? Probably not – they need to gain 20 points from last year’s performance, and I don’t think they did. Also worth noting this is a satirical post, making fun of ourselves and some unrealistic expectations. I can’t believe I need to point this out, but hey, I do.

Artemi Panarin

Panarin signed his mega deal in the offseason, the big prize of free agency. The 27 year old winger is a bonafide elite 1LW, and will have the expectations of continuing his point per game career pace. New York is tough with a big contract, because some fans expect Gretzky numbers. If Panarin isn’t Gretzky, he failed, right?

Pressure: 8

Chris Kreider

Kreider is either going to get traded or sign an extension. If he signs the extension, then it’s going to be in the $7 million range and the expectations of him actually hitting 30 goals will be there. He’s never hit 30 goals, with a pair of near misses in 2016-2017 and 2018-2019. But with $7 million comes 30 goals or bust. Doesn’t matter what else he does on the ice. He will be lit ablaze if he doesn’t go from 28 goals to 30 goals. After all, 28 goals is only worth $5 million, but 30 goals is worth $7 million. Those are some expensive goals.

Pressure: 7. Pressure if he gets traded: -10

Pavel Buchnevich

Fresh off his two year bridge deal, Buchnevich is looking to take another next step in his career. He put up 21 goals last season and has great chemistry with Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. But he’s Russian, so he’s lazy – right? Anything short of 30 goals, even if he winds up on the third line, is a bust and he must be traded. If you’re on the Rangers you better be a 30 goal scorer or a puncher. There is no room for in between players.

Pressure: 6

Kaapo Kakko

The golden child. The savior. The next one. He’s already pegged as the Calder winner. He’s already going to put up 100 points in his rookie season. Why even bother dressing anyone else? Let him do it himself, he’s capable.

Pressure: 4 – come on guys, he’s a rookie.

Vitali Kravtsov

There are no other prospects in the system outside of Kakko.

Pressure: -2

Filip Chytil

Who? He’s not Kakko. Oh you mean the 2C?

Pressure: 4

Lias Andersson

Bust. Ugh. Awful.

Pressure: 10

Brett Howden

The future 1C. Better than that guy who DJs most of the time and just plays hockey part time.

Pressure: 1

Henrik Lundqvist

Grandpa. Worst goalie ever since he hasn’t won a Cup.

Pressure: 12 – ugh please just win a Cup for him. Please.

Alex Georgiev

Who the hell is this Shesterkin guy?

Pressure until he is traded: 4. Pressure after he is traded: 8.

"The pressure scale - who from the Rangers is facing the most pressure this season?", 5 out of 5 based on 3 ratings.
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  1. What about Trouba? Big contract – forced a trade to NY. He needs to put up numbers and play big minutes. Pressure gauge for him is a 9

    1. If he isn’t Brian Leetch then he is a waste of money! Trade him!

      Pressure from fans 8 From wife 15 🙂

  2. I think David Quinn is under a fair amount of pressure this year. After having no pressure and no expectations last year, there are many who think making the playoffs is a done deal. He has to turn kids into hockey players and costly veterans into studs. I would say he has a pressure of 7.

    One relief is that he will have Lindy Ruff to blame for a failing defense for a while.

  3. You may have these numbers right, but I don’t think that is where the numbers should be. Buchnevich and Chityl are too very talented players that so far have not lived up to their potential (yes, Buch is a solid player and yes, Chityl is very young). I think the pressure should be on them to make meaningful positive strides.

    And your ranking of Andersson is another indicator that he should start in Hartford. We know what is going to happen if he plays in NY. One group is going to defend him because he is young. Group 2 is going to deride him because he is not a top six forward. Group 3 will be objective, but Group 3 is damn small. In Hartford, all the pressure should be internal.

    With Lundqvist, most of the pressure will be internal. This is the first year that he will start with true self doubt. Still predicting a January retirement IF the other two tenders are playing well enough that he isn’t leaving the team in the lurch.

  4. And as we all have heard many times here already, Kakko is not a generational player like McDavid. 😉

  5. I have to take umbrage with the proposed fact that these Rangers are not a playoff team. This team, IMO, can easily make up the 20 points that are probably needed to be a playoff team. I look at it from a standpoint of not only the additions but the subtractions as well. We all know about the additions, Kappo, Krav, Fox, Trouba and Panarin.

    But we’ve subtracted a one-legged Shattenkirk, Pionk, Vesey and I consider Letteiri also, because he’s not smelling the varsity this year. Throw in Smith too cause he won’t be around that much either. I’m confidently saying this team will contend for a playoff spot and possibly a non-wildcard seating.

    1. I don’t think Smith is that bad at all. Sure, he was brutal the 1st year but last year he was adequate — not to mention he can play up at forward and both left and right side on d.

      As far as the playoffs I agree. Panarin should be worth 6-8 points alone, the remaining 12-14 could be provided by a totally revamped right side d plus Kakko and Kravtsov … also an improved Skjei if playing with Trouba.

      1. He wasn’t “brutal” in his first year, the year we got him from Detroit. He actually played pretty well, which is why he got a new contract. Then he, by his own admission, partied too much in the off season, and showed up so out of shape that he ended up being sent to Hartford. There, he compounded the issue by getting in a fight with, of all people, Vinnie Lettieri, and breaking his hand, and ended up unable to play for a while. He’s been better since that year, but still not good enough to justify his contract.

  6. Reporter: “Artemi How are you handling all the pressure playing hockey for the Rangers in the NHL?”
    Artemi: “Hmmm, YES, the pressure and fame playing hockey almost make me forget I’m worth 100 million US Dollars”

    LOL Cheers!


  7. Bravo! Dave! Well thought out and extremely funny! Thoroughly enjoyed the read.


    1. Best line, of many….

      “That’s why Roger Podacter is dead!!! He found Captain Winkie!”

  8. Exceling under pressure is what separates the average players from the good and great players. Any professional athlete playing in NY in any sport is expected to produce, especially if he is paid millions of dollars with a big sometimes ridicules contract. The standard is higher, and should be according to age, experience and past accomplishments. To many modern athletes (not as much in professional hockey as other sports) are overpaid, self-centered, under-achievers that don’t deserve nearly the extravagant money they make. Sorry, I don’t think it is wrong for guys playing in the league for a time, to be pressured to some degree to produce. Naturally some young players need to mature, but if they are in the NHL, there are still high standards. They are supposed to be professionals.

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