The New York Rangers are in the middle of their best stretch of the young 2018-19 season thanks to the effort up and down the lineup.
The New York Rangers just keep on racking up the points.
Currently riding a six-game points streak (5-0-1), the Blueshirts have brought themselves to within two points of a playoff spot and two points behind the Blue Jackets for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
Last week saw a number of big performances up and down the Rangers lineup. But, these three players stood out most and were able to come up big when the team needed it most. They contributed to two exciting wins in games where the thought was there was no way this team was going to win this game.
Here are the three stars from the week of Nov. 4 through Nov. 11.
3. Neal Pionk
When you score a goal like Neal Pionk, you kind of have to be on this list, right?
.@NYRangers’ Neal Pionk goes COAST to COAST. ??
— theScore (@theScore) November 7, 2018
Pionk pulled off his best Brian Leetch impression in the Rangers 5-3 win over Montreal last Tuesday night, continuing his strong offensive play over the last month. He would follow that up Friday in Detroit with a powerplay goal giving him a three-game goal scoring streak.
The jury is still out on the type of player Pionk can be. While he has passed the eye test with flying colors, there are some underlying numbers that have some worried about his trajectory. Even with the split, all fans can sit back and enjoy goals like the one Pionk scored a week ago.
2. Pavel Buchnevich
Pavel Buchnevich looks to have hit his stride.
Buchnevich pulls off a nasty toe drag before setting Mika Zibanejad up for the tap-in. pic.twitter.com/DpK8u3wwYk
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 11, 2018
The play above just shows the raw talent Buchnevich posses. Once he is able to put it all together he has the ability to become a solid offensive player in the NHL. He finished the week with two goals and two assists, looking to have finally answered the message head coach David Quinn has been trying to send him.
But even when things are going well for the 23-year-old, something has to pop up that sets him back a bit. It happened in his rookie year, and it is happening again with him missing the next four to six with a broken thumb.
1. Kevin Hayes
Kevin Hayes is making it tougher and tougher to move him.
WHAT A PASS BY KEVIN HAYES TO SET UP JIMMY VESEY! TIE GAME!#NYR pic.twitter.com/XcN3IxLlNx
— Hockey Daily #StickTogether (@HockeyDaily365) November 11, 2018
Hayes finished the week with six points, all assists, including the beautiful pass above to Jimmy Vesey to force overtime in the Blueshirts’ 5-4 shootout win over Columbus Saturday.
The more and more Hayes plays like this, the Rangers will be forced to make a tough decision on the 25-year-old. While the decision to trade him should not come up until after the New Year, one can only wonder the return if Hayes keeps playing at this level.
Either way, the Rangers will take this Kevin Hayes every day of the week.
- Mika Zibanejad: Four points, two goals, and two assists, in three games.
- Jimmy Vesey: Three points, one goal, and two assists, in three games.