Goosebumps. It is the most wonderful time of the year as the Blueshirts are about to open the 2022-23 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs against the New Jersey Devils.
Kreider – Zibanejad – Kane
Kreider’s speed, physicality, and net front presence make him a nightmare for opposing teams, particularly the Devils. If Kreider can use his physicality to put people through the boards, the Rangers will be able to steamroll their opponents. Zibanejad, on the other hand, has the ability to carry the play whenever he wants to and play 200 feet. He is also a scoring threat on the power play, with a knack for scoring high hard ones into the top of the net. And let’s not forget about Patrick Kane, whose nickname “Showtime” speaks for itself. With his incredible vision and skill, Kane can make things happen on the ice in the blink of an eye.
Panarin – Trocheck – Tarasenko
Panarin admitted last season that he was not happy with the way his playoffs went. The media was hard on him so am I worried?
The Breadman will look to redeem himself now on a line with Trocheck and Tarasenko. Trocheck is one of the biggest pains in the asses to play against when the chips are on the table. Look for Vinny to be a thorn in the devils side during and after the whistle.
Tarasenko has 41 goals in 90 playoff games and gets to have some fun with his buddy Breadman on the other wing. I have a feeling 91 won’t be afraid to be shooting the puck.
Lafreniere – Chytil – Kakko
Like I said on the preview, they might not have lit the scoresheet on fire but one thing we can all agree upon is how happy we were last year when the ice got smaller. The pace of playoffs is a different breed, one that the Kid line loves to take on. For the Rangers to have any shot at winning the cup this year, these kids need to continue making that extra step. They need to be dangerous and they need to be responsible. To me, they are the Rangers X factor.
Vesey – Goodrow – Motte
When is the last time the Rangers had a fourth line who had any sort of role? Jimmy Vesey has completely turned his career around, Goodrow is a champion and Motte is the type of player that forces the other teams defensemen to make mistakes. Last year, the Rangers 4th line got bullied by Tampas – partly because of the speed of Reaves and a once bum ankle of Goodrow but not this year.
Lindgren – Fox
55’s mindset was built for the playoffs. I cannot wait to watch him battle and defend against the Devils forwards – making their lives a living hell. It’s pretty cool to have a psycho like that on one side and the best defenseman in the NHL on the other side. Adam Fox has been the Rangers best player pretty much from the first game he played in the NHL. He’s dynamic, defends and has the ability to take over a game both in the O zone and the D zone.
Miller – Trouba
Miller needs to get back to playing the game and keeping it simple. If Miller uses his legs and reach, he can be a one man breakout which is incredibly important when the pace of the game gets ramped up. And Trouba? Well, we know about Trouba.
Trouba has the ability to change an entire playoff series with one single hit. Hughes, Bratt and Co better keep their head up if they go to the middle of the ice.
Mikkola – Schneider
Mikkola is a psychopath with his stick and looks to be flailing around all over the place but he’s our psycho. He’s big, will clean up the front of the net and eat up some minutes so Fox doesn’t have to play a full 60. Schneider is Schneider. He’s the most underrated player on the Rangers and I see him making a few big plays for the boys in blue this series. If you remember, the Rangers traded up just in front of the Devils to make sure they snagged this kid in the first round. Now it’s his turn to show us why.
Igor vs. Vitek Vanecek. That’s it. That’s the paragraph. That’s all she wrote.
Let’s let the good times roll, ladies in gentleman. Rangers in 6.
DJ, play the fucking song.