Mika Zibanejad Rangers
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The top line continues to lead the way in an unfortunate week for the Rangers.

Week 19 was far from ideal for the New York Rangers.

They notched a big win against their division rivals, the Washington Capitals, but lost a tough one to their other rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and made the Vancouver Canucks look much better than they are.

The Rangers have one of the best power plays in hockey and couldn’t generate any offense against the Canucks’ worst penalty kill in the game.

A positive that fans as well as the coaching staff were able to take away from the losing week, however, is that the Rangers’ top line is phenomenal. Even the young Alexis Lafrenière is thriving, playing the best hockey of his career.

Mika Zibanejad continues to be the team’s best forward, as of late, and was the Rangers’ best player last week.

Player of the Week: C Mika Zibanejad


vs. WSH: 1 G, 1 A
vs. VAN: 1 A
Average Game Score: 1.84
Average defensive impact: 0.27

Zibanejad put up points this week, played good defense, and was a solid playmaker.

He was the team’s second-best player in their first two games of the week and was their best player against the Canucks. His 3.19 Game Score against the Capitals was his third-highest of the season.

This was almost a quintessential strong week for Zibanejad, who’s been an MVP for his team this season, especially since catching fire a few months ago.

The Rangers are much better when Zibanejad plays like the superstar everyone knows he can be and it’s good to see him have such sustained success, as of late.

When he does well, the guys around him do well, as we’re seeing with his linemates, Lafrenière and Kreider.

 Honorable Mention #1: RW Alexis Lafrenière 

vs. WSH: 1 G, 1 A
vs. VAN: 1 G, 1 A
Average Game Score: 1.58
Average defensive impact: 0.09

Honorable Mention #2: LW Chris Kreider

vs. WSH: 1 G
Average Game Score: 1.46
Average defensive impact: 0.14

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.