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Rangers Depth Scoring Proving Its Reliability In The Final Stretch Of The Season

Jimmy Vesey Injured

With earning four out of five wins this past week, the New York Rangers depth scoring is nothing to joke about. Many looked at March’s schedule for the Blueshirts and saw it as an uphill battle. Matchups against divisional foes, tough bouts with teams destined for the playoffs, nothing would come easy. Knowing what was in store, Peter Laviolette and his squad buckled down and focused on the fundamentals. Consequently, there might have been a few hiccups along the way. Nevertheless, the Rangers took all but one game in arguably their toughest week of the season.

Starting with their victories over the New Jersey Devils and the Carolina Hurricanes, that back-to-back earlier in the week seemed like the whole gauntlet. A 28-save shutout for Igor Shesterkin against the second-best team in the Metropolitan Division was a huge exclamation point. It would only lead to being exposed by the technical genius John Cooper and his Tampa Bay Lightning two nights later. Battered more than a St. Paddy’s Day Fish and Chip dinner, the Rangers travelled up to the Steel City on Saturday where they took down the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-4 on the back of a 34-save masterclass from Jonathan Quick. Sunday, the luck of the Irish would stay with New York and helped defeat the New York Islanders 5-2. A dozen goals in two consecutive games is remarkable, and it’s all thanks to the Rangers depth scoring.

Rangers Depth Scoring Comes Cheaper By The Dozen

Depth scoring has been hard to come by in 2024 for the Rangers. In a season that has been dominated by Vincent Trocheck‘s line, the weight is beginning to lift off of their shoulders. Every game would be determined in the form of Trocheck, Artemi Panarin, and even Alexis Lafrenière. Players are now becoming synonymous with scoring in clutch situations. With 12 goals in their last two tilts, the bottom six is starting to take its shape.

Will Cuylle was dropped to the fourth line this week. After Matt Rempe received his four-game suspension, a hole opened up on the bottom line.  Surprisingly, Jimmy Vesey received a promotion to the third line with Alexander Wennberg and Kaapo Kakko. Cuylle, being the forceful presence that he is, found a home on a line centred by Barclay Goodrow. Coincidently, New York has found success in pairing youngsters with grizzled veterans. Players like Kakko and Cuylle are showing their true colours with experienced centremen. Evidently, both of their names are becoming familiar with the scoresheet. The two budding forwards each tallied a goal in Sunday’s matinee over the Islanders.

Another player who continues to shine a light on the bottom six is Jimmy Vesey. With 13 goals on the season, four of Vesey’s tallies are game-winning goals. That means over 30 percent of the former Harvard standout’s goals have been the deciding factor. It might be a stretch, but these are statistics that will come into play come playoff time. There will be times when the big guns stay quiet (something we are all too familiar with). One of these three have the potential to be a playoff hero this coming spring.

New York Rangers or Rangers FC?

Throughout the week, turnovers seemed to be the crutch that led to goals for the opposition. A costly Jonny Brodzinski giveaway led to a drubbing courtesy of the Lightning on Thursday. Sunday’s fixture saw an unfortunate turnover from Erik Gustafsson that led to a Bo Horvat short-handed goal. When they were able to limit the giveaways, the Rangers were more dominant on the puck than ever before.

Firstly, let’s take a look at this goal from Artemi Panarin on Saturday in Pittsburgh. The play starts with a simple poke from Lafrenière. From there, the Rangers found themselves on a two-on-one and what came next was pure filth. Trocheck provided the “Sunday sauce” a day early which left Blueshirts fans hungry for more.

Their breakouts and offensive possessions are looking more soccer-esque every single day. Mika Zibanejad‘s goal from Saturday mimics the creativity of FC Barcelona in the mid-2000s. Brazilians would call this style “tiki-taka”, where these quick, fluid passes find a stick blade efficiently.

If this stretch of games proved anything, it’s that New York is turning into a threat in the offensive zone. Gone are the days of solely relying on the counterattack or plays off of the rush. Laviolette’s team is starting to show a combination of both confidence and skill when leading up to goal-scoring opportunities.

The Rangers return to action on Tuesday when they take on the surging Winnipeg Jets. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST on Tuesday from The World’s Most Famous Arena.

Main Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports


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