I have played hockey for 28 years, both ice up until College and Roller hockey ever since. I have always been an avid NHL fan.
Best duo in the league this year.
Ryan Strome has proven his staying power. Artemi Panarin is a top 5 player in the world.
Let me preface this by saying this much: I am not saying anything that anyone watching hockey at home doesn't already know. This year's New York Rangers squad is absolutely in the top 3 shortlist for best team in the league. As alluded to in the title, this is NOT John Tortorella style bruising hockey. This is fun hockey, the type where you actually allow your skill players to do what they do best: play with absolutely dominant skill. Meanwhile, 4th liners are the ones doing the bruising, as it SHOULD be. Speaking of 4th liners, Ryan Reaves is worth every penny. Barclay Goodrow? More like Barclay Overpaidrow. The rangers need to trade him ASAP and will have to eat some cap to do so. We have minor leaguers who have more than earned an opportunity to play 4th line minutes at the very least and for a fraction of the cap hit.
Yes, the New York Rangers lack depth on the big squad. Yes, we have implications in next year's cap situation that could and possibly already are casting a dark shadow over the team. The New York Rangers have been playing a game of chicken now for years with the agent of Ryan Strome. I am in a hockey based text-thread of knuckleheads(who have never played hockey in their lives) who believe that we should absolutely trade Strome. They've been saying the same things since he began thriving as Panarin's favored pivot, "Yeah, he puts up points. So what? Even I could put up 30 assists playing with Panarin." Or, "Strome is TERRIBLE when you put him on a line with ANYONE but Panarin." Clearly, they forget that he had a 49 point season on a dreadful Edmonton Oilers team a few years back. I say this with every fiber of my being. Ryan Strome IS a #1 center in the NHL. Full stop. But, I digress.
On to more favorable matters, how about that Kreider guy? Throughout his Rangers tenure, he's been a streaky scorer. So the pessimistic side of me keeps saying, he's gonna stop scoring any day now and then we won't notice him for another 2 months. But kid Kreider just keeps on chugging along. In a recent "The Athletic" article, he credited, you guessed it, David Quinn with how amazing he's been. I am so fucking with you. No, he credited Artemi Panarin. Apparently on top of being a top 5 player worldwide, he's also establishing himself as a Kreider-whisperer. Kreider DOES speak Russian almost fluently, so perhaps that's part of it. For now, I am signing off. Thanks for reading.