Ice cold New York Rangers that need to step up versus Anaheim
The New York Rangers have hit their first real crisis in the 2023-24 season after a 7-3 thumping by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. It also marked their third loss in the last four games. Nestled in this recent slide is a 4-1 win over an excellent Los Angeles Kings team, however, in the three defeats they’ve been outscored by a 17-5 margin.
While the onus will be on playing better defense against the Anaheim Ducks at the Garden on Friday night, several ice cold Rangers need to step up.
Ice Cold New York Rangers
During this miserable stretch of Rangers hockey, no one is colder than Chris Kreider. The 32 year-old has no points and is a -5 in his last four games. Expanding on those numbers, he’s posted just 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist) over his previous 8 games.
I’m not sure why Kreider is in a deep freeze, but some of it seems mental as he’s missed easy tip-in for goals recently. Maybe it’s the pending milestones that could all come with his next goal. When he eventually scores it, and he will, it’ll be his 500th career point. It will also tie Adam Graves for third on the team’s all-time goal list at 280. If it’s on the power play, it will be the 100th on his resume.
Kreider currently sits with 22 points (14 goals, 8 assists) in 27 matches.
After a strong start to the season, Alexis Lafreniere has cooled down with just 1 assist during this Rangers 1-3-0 skid. He’s also a combined -4 in those contests, and that’s just not acceptable for easily the team’s top right wing playing on the team’s best line.
The first overall pick in the 2020 draft has registered 8 goals and 8 assist in 27 games to date. Although he is just 22 years of age, Lafreniere is entering his fourth NHL campaign and appears to finally be on the verge of a breakout for the Blueshirts.
Although offense isn’t why the Rangers named him captain, Jacob Trouba’s 1 assist over the last four games isn’t enough for his slumping squad. However, his -5 in this same awful stretch is sticking out like a sore thumb. Simply put, Trouba needs to lead the charge against Anaheim from both sides of the puck.
Trouba, 32, has 2 goals and 11 assists on the season with a +6 rating. Known for bringing the boom, he has 61 hits and is the Rangers most physical defenseman by far. The veteran is also second in the NHL for blocked shots with 87.
Note: If Igor Shesterkin was expected to start, he would have been at the top of the list.