Quick Hits – Rangers vs Avalanche 12/31/16
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Here is my Quick Hits recap of the Rangers 6-2 win over the Avalanche
Chris Kreider – Chris Kreider ended off 2016 in style by recording his second career hat trick in this one. He scored all of his goals in the “dirty area” in front of the net, and has started to get back to the dominance he had at the beginning of the year. He has seven goals in the last six games, and nine points overall. He keeps up this level of play, he should end up with a 60-70 point season.
JT Miller – Before the Rangers came out to the west coast, JT had not scored a goal since since December 11th against the Devils. He scored the empty netter against the Coyotes on Thursday, and followed it up with the GWG in this one, and potted another one midway through the third. It looks like he is getting his game back and that can only be good for the Blueshirts.
Jimmy Vesey – Like JT Miller, Vesey had been struggling offensively. He hadn’t recorded a goal or a point since December 11th. He had an assist on Thursday, and scored a beautiful goal against the Avalanche. After a turnover forced by Kevin Hayes, he got the puck to Michael Grabner. Grabner then set up Vesey, who went backhand-forehand for the goal. If he starts to get his game back, he will solidify himself in the bottom half of the Rangers forward group.
Derek Stepan – With the injury to Mika Zibanejad, Stepan has been forced to contribute even more offensively. And he has been. He already has 30 points on the season, and is on pace for a 65 point season. He had two primary assists in this one, and has nine points in the last five games. His line, with Kreider and Zuccarello have formed some amazing chemistry over the last few weeks, and they are one of the hottest lines in the NHL.
Mats Zuccarello – Zuccarello has been his usual diminutive, point producing self. Zucc has points in six straight games, picking up nine points (all assists) in that time. He is on pace for his usual production of a 60 point season.
Ryan McDonagh – The Rangers captain picked up his 25th point of the season in this one, with an assist on the second goal by Chris Kreider. He is only nine points shy of his total production from last season, and looks like he will have a good shot at having a career year, by getting over the 43 points mark, which he had in 2013-2014. We all knew how dependable McDonagh is on the back end, and his offensive output was always the thing we’ve been waiting for.
Henrik Lundqvist – In a game in which Henrik did not have a barrage of shots against, he got the job done. Henrik gave up two goals on 27 shots, and he was screened on both of them. But this was the kind of win that Hank needed. He’s been a bit of a funk of late, and a game like this with not a ton of work could be just the thing to get him back on track.
NEXT GAME: The Rangers will open the new year on Tuesday night at MSG against the Sabres. Puck drops at 7!
LETS GO RANGERS!