Though he should have four goals in his last two games instead of three, Carl Hagelin has been an unlikely source of scoring for the New York Rangers.
On A team that has truly relied on its depth to win games while the main players struggle, Hagelin has quietly set a career-high in goals with 13 games left to play. While he is also currently sporting a career-low in assists, that is more an attribute of his pass-first linemates.
Brad Richards is much more notorious as a creative playmaker, while Ryan Callahan struggled to score all season. Martin St. Louis is also looking for that elusive first goal as a Ranger, which can partially explain Hagelin’s low assist total.
Support scoring has been the story so far for the Rangers. The team fed off the energy and production of Mats Zuccarello for over two months as well as a resurgent Richards, and the Rangers are now looking for a new source to lead their scoring. While the obvious answer should be Rick Nash and to a lesser degree Derek Stepan, who has been producing lately and is tied for the team lead in points, this is a team entirely dependent on its depth.
The Rangers have had the game-winning goal scored by 12 different players this season. The player with the most, unlikely as it seems, is Nash.
While this team has had its struggles and faces a tough stretch to get into the playoffs in a good position to succeed, the Rangers have the potential to do so. Players such as Hagelin and Zuccarello will need to produce along with Nash and Stepan if New York has any hope of advancing their season past April 12.
Right now, Hagelin is picking up that slack by creating chances and putting the puck in the back of the net.