Kreider – Zibanejad – Kakko
The bromance is back with a young fin looking to make a name for himself in the NHL. We all know the types of players Kreider and Zibanejad are but we are waiting to figure out what kind of player Kaapo will be. Kaapo has looked good in preseason, scored a few times, and his confidence is beginning to show.
It looks like the former second overall pick will at least get the opportunity to not only get top 6 minutes this year, but do it with players who put the puck in the back of the net.
Also, a bud of mine bet a friend that Kaapo pots 25 this year. Would you take that bet?
Panarin – Trocheck – Kravstov
Can Panarin and Trocheck find a Strome type connection? Will Kravstov adjust to North American ice and take a step in the right direction? On paper, this has the makings of a very dangerous line, but as most of you know – this isn’t NHL 23 on rookie mode and the guys themselves will have to make it happen. Having said that, the ceiling is very very high. It might take a few games, but Panarin will find himself benefitting from the way Vinny plays. Trocheck is gonna forecheck – put that on a T shirt. But really, there should be more forced turnovers in the offensive zone, which hopefully will lead to 10 and 74 lighting the lamp.
Lafreniere – Chytil – Goodrow
I think anyone with a brain will realize that Goodrow and Kaapo will be the ones alternating if this doesn’t work out. Gallant likes using Goodrow on top lines to impact the game physically and we all still have wet dreams about the Kid Line vs. Tampa Bay. This line, if still together, can still be very productive. I believe Chytil will make a step this year, Goodrow will always be a defensive help and Lafreniere is looking to build off of last years campaign. Depending on matchups, I’d say this is an upper echelon third line in the NHL. My only cause of concern is will they have the ability to consistently produce offensive zone time? We’ll see.
Vesey – Hunt – Carpenter – Reaves
Carpenter is lucky Gustav doesn’t have to clear waivers. My hope for this years fourth line? Form some sort of identity. I’m sick and tired of players like Kevin Rooney and Greg McKegg and Phil DiGiuseppe being wheeled out there for no reason other than the fact that they have a pulse. I want this line to be defensive, I want this line to be annoying and I want this line to actually contribute this year. I know it won’t be Boyle – Moore – Dorsett but do something for me guys. Our fourth line was a problem last year against Tampa Bay, with Patty Maroon causing havoc. Find your identity, know your role, show some pride, and show us Rangers fans that we can always roll 4 – wouldn’t that be cool?
Alternate captains were announced and to no ones surprise they are Goodrow, Kreider, Panarin and Zibanejad – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Lastly – Sammy Blais. The guy can’t catch a break. Am I worried? I’d say a little but hypothetically, let’s he comes back and can have healthy season – he would change everything. People hate on him because of the Buchnevich deal but he is an impactful NHL hockey player. Blais is a type of player who buys into whatever role is asked of him, he finishes every single one of his checks, and is noticeable on pretty much every shift. Sammy Blais is my dark horse for one of the more important players on this New York Rangers team.
Who else is fired up for tomorrow night?