Derick Brassard needs to do more
Derick Brassard needs to be better for the Rangers if NY hopes to make noise this season. The loss of Derek Stepan has put the spotlight firmly on the 27 year old pivot and right now he needs to do more.
Last season Derick Brassard was a force on the Rangers second line, he posted 18 goals and 27 assists, in 81 games. This year Brassard has recorded 3 goals and 1 assist in the teams first 7 games, but two of the 3 goals scored came in blowouts vs the Islanders and Maple Leafs.
Brassard has been playing an average of 14:12 per game at even strength. On the power play he has been averaging 2:17 per game. Brassard is getting almost a minute more ice time per game at even strength, compared to last season, according to NHL.com, but isn’t finding that space on the wall and shaking defenders.
Sean Hartnell of CBS Sports pointed out before last year’s playoff run, that the line comprised of Brassard, Mats Zuccarello, and Benoit Pouliot was in fact the Rangers first line. Hartnell explained the line “stood out as the blue shirts best in both even-strength and power play situations.” The same case cannot be made for this year’s Brassard line.
Yes the Rangers have lost Pouliot, but Brassard needs to find a way to adjust if he is going to be a true number two center for years to come.
Image provided by Rantsports.com, Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
His advanced stats don’t tell the story of the difference in his game. My point is he is still getting his shots on goal, they just aren’t the quality scoring chances that we became accustomed to last season.
It did take some time before Brassard’s line got going last year, The Rangers just hope last year wasn’t a fluke.
Below are some of Brassards key playoff goals.
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