Ryan Strome
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Strome was one of the few Rangers to have a strong week in Week 21.

In Week 21, the New York Rangers looked worse than they have in months. They kicked things off with a terrible 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild and followed it up with their worst game of the season, a 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

It looked like things hadn’t gotten better after the Rangers found themselves in a two-goal deficit in the first period against the Dallas Stars, but they played with the resilience they’ve exhibited so often this season and came back to win that one 7-4.

This week, the Rangers showed us that they struggle mightily when Igor Shesterkin isn’t at the top of his game. He didn’t play against the Wild and then had some uncharacteristically poor games against the Blues (in which he was pulled) and the Stars.

Star defenseman Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren continue to struggle significantly in their own zone and the the team is suffering, as a result.

K’Andre Miller has been the team’s best blueliner, by far, and it might be time to try him out alongside Fox.

Kaapo Kakko’s absence is glaring and the team’s need for a top-six right winger has never been more urgent.

It’s also clear that goalie Alexandar Georgiev must be sent to a team where he can start more regularly because he’s practically useless when he doesn’t get consistent playing time.

The majority of the team looked quite bad this week, something that makes sense given how poorly the team played. However Ryan Strome, who’s cooled down over the past few weeks, stepped up and stood out amongst his teammates.

Check out last week’s player of the week and honorable mentions here.

Player of the Week: C Ryan Strome 

@ MIN: 1 A
@ STL: 1 G
@ DAL: 1 G, 1 A
Average Game Score: 1.54
Average defensive impact: -0.62

Strome had a bounce-back week at a convenient time. He was a top-five player for the Rangers in each game this week, finishing as the team’s best player against the Wild and the Stars.

The Wild game was a milestone for Strome: it was his 600th career NHL game. Although the Rangers dropped that one, it was nice that he was able to earn a point and was the team’s best player.

Strome’s 3.31 Game Score against the Stars was his second-highest of the season.

As has been the case for most of the season because he plays on a defensively inept line, Strome was quite poor in his own zone. Given how bad his teammates were defensively, though, this isn’t a surprise or a serious concern.

Seeing Strome get back to putting up points is a relief and his play this week epitomizes his importance to the Rangers, especially since their top-six isn’t as productive as it could be and that their depth at center isn’t impressive.

Strome’s buddy and linemate, Artemiy Panarin, also had a solid week and the impact these two have on each other was clear.

It’s crucial that Strome continues to play at this level, especially as long as the Rangers don’t have an upgrade at 2C or another productive top-six RW.

Honorable Mention #1: LHD K’Andre Miller

@ STL: 1 G
@ DAL: 2 A
Average Game Score: 1.15
Average defensive impact: 0.43

Honorable Mention #2: LW Artemiy Panarin

@ MIN: 1 A
@ STL: 1 A
@ DAL: 1 G, 4 A
Average Game Score: 1.10
Average defensive impact: -1.12


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.