Players

NY Rangers 2019-2020 Player Report Card: Brendan Lemieux

NY Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux is one of those sandpaper players that old school hockey fans love. New school hockey fans can get behind his decent skill and ability to balance out the bottom-six as well. He seems like the new Sean Avery, without some of the on-ice antics that followed Avery around.

In his first full year with the Rangers, Lemieux put up 6-12-18 in 59 games. The scoring line isn’t overly impressive in the grand scheme of things. Brett Howden and Kaapo Kakko were Lemieux’s primary linemates, and both had their own struggles.

Lemieux didn’t move the needle much offensively or defensively. That’s actually better than expected, given both his linemates and how bad the team was to start the season. His defensive numbers are actually better than expected. They aren’t great, but not moving the needle is better than most others on the bottom-six. A little sad, isn’t it?

Offensively we shouldn’t expect much from Lemieux. A full season 10-20-30 line is about what to expect, with that sandpaper style of play. It is worth noting that Lemieux is a pretty solid net-front presence. He’s no Chris Kreider, but he’s in front of the net and he does it very well.

It is also important to analyze how Lemieux performed with Kakko and Howden and without. WOWYs aren’t the best indicator of future success, but they are a piece of the puzzle. Compared to Lemieux’s season long numbers, this trio allowed more shots against, but also generated more shots for. They trend towards “fun.” This shouldn’t be a surprise.

It’s also not a surprise that the Rangers struggled defensively to start the season. It wasn’t until December when the on-ice product was noticeably better. This is why through all these report cards, trends over time are important.

Lemieux is one of the few Rangers that actually started the season positively. Of course that faded as the Rangers struggled, but he never really hit a rock bottom. Even his worst points in the season were better than many others. It is a fair statement to say that while Lemieux may not light it up offensively, he can be a defensive positive. Especially as this team grows. The Rangers could certainly do worse with bottom-six forwards than Brendan Lemieux.

Grade: C+

Charts provided by Hockeyviz and chartinghockey.

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  • my grade is C.
    I liked him very much last season and start of this one, but then he getting worse and worse. Injury? DQ instruction? IDK. I expect him to be better as he was first came here.

  • He was very effective until he broke his hand. Rushed back…hand still not fulled healed. Can’t be a super pest/semi enforcer with one hand. I fully expect him to be back at his best if/when season resumes. He will be a very effective 4th line player, with GOAT and McKegger.

  • I almost forgot that Lem was apart of that trade last year. I like how he tries to take a body inside the DZ but most of the time he’s chasing the play in all 3 zones. Quinn runs a zone D scheme and this guy is either on the wrong side of his man or quadrant. He can hardly get his foot on a pk that is extremely weak once Zib and Fast come off the ice. His PP experience didn’t show signs of growth even though the finger can be pointed at Chytil, Buch and Trouba with the PP2 being at a JV level. Overall I thought he had some good forechecking routes all season, even post injurybut I didn’t see him as a threat on either side of the ice or puck.
    Grade: D+

    Considering if Hayes was back here, than he would be in a lot of the same roles as Lem but as a center. Big difference being that Hayes provides polar opposite PK abilities/D game and Brad Marchand type of offence when on the man down. Top 6 production without crazy deployments etc and can shutdown or take advantage while on the 5v5 with lesser talent on his flanks. Lem on the other hand fit the bill for his “grit” and fighting on some nights but after Hayes left, I think this team has sorely missed a 200 ft top 6 center type who can put up points without top line/PP1 deployment.

    Hence why I think Eichel is 100% right for this team. Float Chytil, Buch Lias and a draft pick to Buffalo. If ADA needs to go than replace with the draft pick.

  • I think that he is probably capable of a bit more offense. There were some flashes of that, and he does have net presence. I like his attitude and enthusiasm. He is still learning the game and should get better. C+ for now.

  • I was disappointed by the lack of impact in his play. I expected MORE after what I saw of him last season — some sort of real improvement. That said, improper deployment, injury, ice time (quantity and quality), etc. were in part to blame … I wouldn’t consider trading him though, his style of game is perfect for a bottom 6 player. In the end it’s a small blessing in disguise, he’ll get a little bump in salary.

    I think C is a fair grade to go along with Kakko, C- to Howden. All 3 had their moments during the course of the year, more so Kakko … but when doling out overall grades I think average to slightly below average at best. Luckily they’re all young, so there’s room (a lot for Kakko) for significant improvement.

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