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Thread: Halfway There Report Cards 2017-18: Forwards Edition

  1. #1
    Junior Member ClearedForContact's Avatar
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    Halfway There Report Cards 2017-18: Forwards Edition

    Excelling (A+ to A-)

    For the high-scoring Rangers, currently tied with the Chicago Blackhawks for 10th in the league in GF/GP (3.02), no player is involved with that offense as often as leading scorer Mats Zuccarello. With 31 points in 41 games, the Norwegian is on pace for a 60-point season (61) for the second time in his career. In fact, should he reach it, he’ll have tied a career high in points, matching his 61-point 2015-16 campaign. With seven points in his last ten games, he’s also one of the Rangers’ most productive forwards as the new year begins.

    Another key cog to the Blueshirts offense has been sixth-year pro, J.T. Miller, who sits just behind Mats Zuccarello with 27 points — 21 of which have come at even strength, which ties him with Michael Grabner for the team lead. At this rate, he’ll again finish the year north of 50 points though he could end up shy of the 20-goal mark that he’s hit in both of his previous two years in New York.

    Speaking of Michael Grabner, like he did for a large stretch of last season, he’s again leading all Rangers in goals this year with 18 in 41 games — a pace that should see him surpass the 30-goal mark for the second time as a Blueshirt. Moreover, he’s third in the entire NHL in even-strength goals (18), behind only Alex Ovechkin (19) and Nikita Kucherov (24). That’s fabulous company to keep.

    In the final year of his bargain contract, the Rangers will need to make a tough call on whether or not to trade him for future assets or not, but a second dominant scoring season on Broadway should resolve any concerns they might have about his longevity. As Teddy KGB would say, pay that man his money.

    Grabner isn’t the last of the Rangers’ forwards putting in serious work offensively. In just his second NHL season, Pavel Buchnevich is third in scoring with 26 points in 41 games – just one point shy of Miller, and on pace for north of 50 points and his first 20-goal (22) campaign. Both would be career highs for him if AV actually puts him back into the lineup anytime soon. To put it kindly, his treatment since coming over to the Rangers under AV’s guidance has been up and down. Despite being the third-highest scorer on the roster, he’s been demoted to the fourth line, kept out of the top-six, and was a healthy scratch in the loss to the Golden Knights on January 7th, which should have fans questioning AV’s handling of his growth. This kind of early career boggling can really derail his progress if it’s not corrected soon.

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  2. #2
    Russian Meddling BSBH Rookie
    josh's Avatar
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    I find it hard to rank any forward an A. Maybe Boo, but neither Zuccarello nor Miller is having the season they had last year. Their inconsistencies have been a huge problem for this team, overall.

    based on expectations heading into the season:
    Kreider - below
    Zibenajad - exceeding, even with his current slump. Probably the only A up front if he doesn't get hurt
    Buchnevich - slightly above
    Nash - below (overall, his game has been solid, but he's paid to score)
    Hayes - offensively: blow, defensively: above
    Miller - below
    Zuccarallo - at
    Grabner - above
    Fast - slightly above (unsustainable sh% and his overall game hasn't been as effective as previous seasons - mostly due to injuries)
    Vesey - at, after a slow start
    Boo - above
    Carey - well above
    DD - above
    Lias Andersson for #AJT2019

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bantam Division
    4EverRangerFrank's Avatar
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    Great assessments, guys -- I agree 110%

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