The Importance of Jesper Fast to the Rangers lineup

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On every NHL roster it is important to have versatile players. Having players that can do multiple things allows a coach to be able to manipulate a lineup. There is not a player on the Rangers that epitomizes versatility like Jesper Fast.

Look here folks, personally I am a Jesper Fast Stan (extremely passionate fan)

Editor’s note: For those over 40 (like me) Stan is reference to an obsessive fan in an Eminem song.

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TO ME (again emphasis on this being my opinion) what number 17 brings to the team goes far beyond stats; advanced or traditional.

Shuffling the Deck

Jesper Fast deserves to be in the top six. For the most part you can find Fast either on the first or second line. Now the hater, of which there are many, may say that Fast is a fourth liner at best. Those people are wrong.

Statistically speaking, Fast does not produce the way that a top six winger should. However, let’s take a look at what Fast is capable of bringing to the table. One, he’s a defensive minded two way forward. What this does is

a) allow his line mates take offensive chances

b) he allows the backend to pinch because they know that Fast will fill in on the back end.

It’s a subtle aspect of the game but it definitely allows other players to shine. Sounds like a future captain to me…

Nonetheless, there also is the defensive zone play of Fast’s game. Fast is sixth on the team in blocked shots (24) and second amongst forwards. Fast also has the third highest defensive point share amongst the forward core. On the back end Fast is a smart player that 9.5/10 times makes the right play.

Quick Take

Bias aside, there’s a reason why Fast is a player that can be shifted up and down the lineup. Fast brings an ability to play on the first line and the checking lines. The most important part of the game that cannot be measured by statistics is the fact that Fast elevates other players. Namestnikov-Zibanejad-Fast was one of the more productive lines this season before Vlad got hurt. Fast is the most undervalued player on the Rangers. Even fans that appreciate what he brings, still take him for granted. His role with the team opens up so many options for Coach Quinn and more roles for players.

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