The New York Rangers have tripped up a little bit after their big surge. They were 11-3-1 in their last 15 games, but ended up dropping two in a row to the New York Islanders and the St. Louis Blues. During those two games, the thing that haunted the Rangers was their lack of depth scoring. That is one of the main reasons they have been surging so much lately.
Rick Nash has been on fire lately, scoring 10 goals in his last 10 games. But in the two losses to the Islanders and Blues, Nash has scored three goals and his linemate, Chris Kreider, scored the other. The Rangers have scored 12 goals in their last four games. Of those 12 goals, 10 have come from the Rangers’ top line of Nash, Kreider and Derek Stepan. While it is great to see the Rangers, they need their role players to get back to scoring as well.
When the Rangers went on their big run, they had scoring from all four lines. Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and Benoit Pouliot were the ones leading the way, but the other lines were producing as well, which is why they were so hard to beat over that stretch; they were finding a way to get balance and were creating matchup problems for opposing teams. Other coaches weren’t sure if they should play their top defense pair against the Nash line or the Zuccarello line. They have lost that balance over the last couple of games.
The Rangers aren’t a team with a lot of scoring depth to begin with, so if they stop getting contributions from everyone, it will be hard for them to win. With the outdoor games coming up, the Rangers will need to get their balance scoring back in order to win.