Our NHL season previews continue with the New York Rangers. The Rangers could not quite catch other teams in the playoff race. There is some good talent on the roster, but finishing has been a problem. Can the Rangers get back in the mix? Is the current roster constructed to win a championship? Let’s break it all down.
There some new combinations that we know of thanks to Daily Faceoff. Here is what they have so far:
First line – Alexis Lafreniere, Mika Zibanejad, Kappo Kakko
Second line – Artemi Pannarin, Ryan Strome, Vitali Kravtsov
Third line – Barclay Goodrow, Flip Chytil, Chris Kreider
Fourth line – Morgan Barron. Kevin Rooney, Sammy Blais
There is no doubt that Zibanejad is the best center on the roster. Lafreniere and Kakko need to pick it up a bit if they are going be first line guys. Those two are just starting out, so there is still time. They are an unselfish group which is good. We all know what Pannarin can do. He’s amazing. There was some speculation about Strome getting dealt to Seattle, but that did not happen.
The Rangers signed Goodrow to a monster contract. He was a third line guy with Tampa Bay, but that deal is questionable. Kreider offers a good scoring punch and depth scoring on line three. Imagine a first line with Pannarin, Zibanejad, and Kreider. It would probably be a little top heavy for the Rangers to do. With that being said, that line would score a lot. In that situation Lafreniere would move to line two, and Kakko would move to line three. The fourth line is a physical group..
The defense is overall solid. There could be shifting around down the road. For now, this is what Daily Faceoff is telling us:
Ryan Lindgren and Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller and Jacob Trouba
Patrik Nemeth and Nils Ludkvist
Goalies: Igor Shesterkin and and Alexander Georgiev
It would be a fun experiment to put Miller and Fox together. Miller just keeps getting better. He probably isn’t top pair material just yet though. It’s an overall solid group. Libor Hajek wasn’t listed, but if he gets it he needs to be a little smarter with the puck. There were some reports of Georgiev wanting a trade. But, this is not true. Shesterkin was signed to an extension to keep him off the market long term. Georgiev is not signed for his long and that will start creating a lot of speculation. Overall, the New York Rangers are trying to make a push with a new head coach and GM. There is still a big hill to climb.
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