Another week in the books means only one thing: Yet another unlikely hero stepped up for the New York Rangers.
The great teams have contributions all throughout the lineup and the Rangers are starting to see that.
Depth has been something that this Rangers team have worked on over the last couple of seasons as general manager Jeff Gorton has made deals with the hopes of improving that depth. It has taken some time for that depth to gain some chemistry but it looks they have and it’s been paying off for the Rangers.
3. Boo Nieves
There’s nothing like scoring your first career goal, and Boo Nieves accomplished that feat this week.
Nieves has played very well since being recalled from Hartford and now that he’s scored his first career goal, his confidence level is at a new level. On top of the goal, Nieves picked up an assist giving him a two-point week.
With his play, Nieves appears to have earned the trust of head coach Alain Vigneault. Vigneault has used Nieves in different situations and is seeing more time on the penalty kill. As much as fans kill Vigneault for his usage of young players, he’s definitely giving Nieves his chance to shine.
A major reason for the Rangers turning their season around has been the play of Mats Zuccarello.
Zuccarello had a big week scoring three goals and also picking up an assist. He continues to compete on a nightly basis and has really been a spark plug over the last three games.
When Alain Vigneault moved Zuccarello to the Rangers third line, it appeared that Vigneault was sending a message to 30-year-old winger. Since the move, he along with Michael Grabner and J.T. Miller have been the Rangers best line.
1. Jesper Fast
“Quickie” can do it all for the for the Rangers, and now he’s scoring goals at a consistent stretch.
With three goals this week, Jesper Fast has reached the six-goal mark, he scored six goals all of last season.
Fast is the type of player that any coach would die for because of what he brings to the table. He can kill penalties, can play on any line and is always out there when the game matters most. Fans sometimes get frustrated when he is in a top-six role, but you can blame Alain Vigneault for leaning on a reliable player?
- Paul Carey: Three assists this week.
- Michael Grabner: One goal this week, but continues to be a threat when on the ice