5 goals. 5 goals against a Stanley Cup contender, 5 goals when your team, who by the way is one of the youngest teams in the league, is 4 points back of a wild card spot and 5 goals when the New York Rangers needed one of their stars to step up.
Is this an overreaction? No, no it isn’t.
Just add a plus 5 to the goal column and thats what he’s working with this year. Mika took serious strides last year when the Rangers didn’t have much and took another leap this season. Yeah, Panarin is one of the most valuable players in the game but on nights when he’s not showing up, on nights when the Rangers need a big goal or a hard back check or a key faceoff, Mika Zibanejad has been there every god damn time. He’s missed a handful of games this year and who do you think leads the league in goals since his return? 93. He has a cannon of a shot and unreal playmaking skills, but what really separates him is the fact that he can play a heavy 200 foot games with absolute wheels for a big man (shoutout Adam Hitcko). He plays all situations, sucks everyone on the ice over to him, makes everyone on the ice better when he’s out there and is only beginning to scratch the surface of what he might become- he’s only 26. I never thought I’d say there might be a trade better than the McDonagh – Gomez one, but it’s starting to become a legitimate conversation with the fleecing of the Senators.
In the next few years when the Rangers younger players develop, guys like Chytil, Kaapo, Kravtsov, and the Rangers are a wagon, just look to the front of the ship and you’ll see 93 guiding the way. What a fucking performance.
Dj, play that shit.