Rangers Roundup: Blueshirts meteoric rise since March 13, Vitali Kravtsov throws shade at Devils, and more

The New York Rangers have risen from the bottom of the East Division to start the season to become one of the hottest teams in hockey. Since Artemi Panarin’s return from a leave of absence on March 13, the Blueshirts are 13-4-3 for 29 points. That is good for second in the entire NHL over that span.

Rangers play since Mid-March absolutely spectacular

As they say, correlation does not alway equal causation, but it appears so when you talk about Panarin and the Blueshirts. New York had lost three straight before Artemi’s rejoining the lineup. His return coincides with this monster run. For the Breadman, in the last 20 games he’s racked up an astonishing 34 points and a +19 rating. Furthermore, he’s had a hand in 53% (44/83) of all Rangers goals in that time frame.

Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, teams they are trying to catch have also been some of the best in the NHL over that time. The Bruins remain four points up on NY for the last playoff spot. Boston beat the Capitals 6-3 to hold off the charging Rangers. Boston has also picked up 24 points since March 13 which is 8th overall in that time span. The Bruins and Rangers play two more times, but the B’s have two games in hand to end the season.

The Rangers are seven points behind the Penguins who have collected 26 points in the same timeframe. And interestingly enough, the Blueshirts have picked up the most ground on the Islanders. They currently sit eight points behind them. In total since March 13th, the Blueshirts have picked up seven points on the Islanders, the most for any of the teams ahead of them. The two bitter rivals face off tomorrow and two more times before the season concludes.

Vitali Kravtsov throws some shade at the Devils

vitali kravtsov
Vitali Kravtsov learns first NHL goal off the board (MSGN)

The 21 year-old rookie has a big personality and a sense of humor. Vitali Kravtsov thought he scored his first NHL goal at the Garden early in the 4 game set against the Devils. Lindy Ruff rightfully challenged the play for an offside as Mika Zibanejad’s skate was over the line a split second too soon.

Kravtsov went from elation to shrugging his shoulders after losing his first tally. Yesterday, there was no questions about it. Kravtsov’s elite hockeyIQ caused a turnover in the offensive zone. He immediately recognized the puck come out to Brett Howden and he moved himself into a shooting position to one-time the pass for his first official goal.

Afterwards, Kravtsov was asked about finally scoring his first career marker. “How good does it feel to get the first one,” Newsday’s Colin Stephenson asked. The kid’s retort was classic, “Second one.”

The kid went on to answer the question with a huge smile on his face. “I feel so good. It’s an unbelievable feeling scoring your first goal. I’m going to tell my kids about it,” he finished.

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