Looking At The Offense
When it comes to the Rangers offense, there is one question that has to be asked, where is it going to come from?
Under former head coach Alain Vigneault, the Blueshirts seemed to have a score by committee approach which worked to an extent. They also seemed to always go for the “home run” instead of making the short and simple play.
Throughout training camp, we have heard David Quinn preach the idea of keeping it short and simple. Not going for the “home run” because the short and simple plays can lead to a better scoring chance. Should this concept stick, we could see a completely different offense under Quinn.
In terms of players, the Rangers offensively do have some big names that can put the puck in the back of the net. Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello will all be returning and looking for big seasons.
When it comes to Kreider, it is the same story every season: will this be the year he finally puts it all together?
Kreider failed to reach the 20-goal mark a season ago due to a blood clot that cost him 18 games. After returning from injury, he looked like a completely different player. A player whose speed and skill was more apparent than ever, on top of a new found use of the body. If that Kreider shows up this year, he can be the player we all thought he would be.
Both Zibanejad and Hayes emerged as two really important parts of the Rangers offense last year. It will be imperative for this offense if they can not only produce the same in 2018-19 but, be even better. Hayes ended 2017-18 with a career-high 25 goals and, will be playing for a new contract this season after failing to sign a multi-year deal this summer. Zibanejad reached the 27 goal plateau last year, establishing himself as one of the games best centers.
2018-19 will also be Vladislav Namestnikov’s and Ryan Spooner’s first full season on Broadway. Spooner had an impressive debut with 16 points in 20 games. While Namestnikov, on the other hand, did not impress only scoring four points in 19 games. Both will be a major part of the Blueshirt offense this season as some of the established veterans on the roster.
Despite the veteran presence, there is going to be a significant amount of youth mixed in with the Rangers offense. After a brief stint on Broadway last year, Filip Chytil looks to play a bigger role in 2018-19. He along with Brett Howden crack the opening night roster and look to be mainstays throughout the season.
With all of the Blueshirts veterans mixed in with their younger players, the offense should be a strength for this team. Simply put, there is just way too much talent in that group for it not to be.
- Extra: McLeod