Out of all of the new additions the Rangers added to their team this offseason, Michael Grabner has blown expectations out of the water. Along with defenseman Nick Holden, these two have helped provide offense and consistent two-way play on cheap, cap-friendly contracts.
When Grabner was signed to a two-year deal, it seemed like he would wind up being a fourth line player who is great at killing penalties and could chip in with some offense. The stories about how he scored 34 goals in his rookie season, 20 goals another year and then 16 goals in the 2012-13 lockout season popped up, as did the ones about how he was fast but couldn’t score on breakaways or finish his chances.
Fast forward to today, and Michael Grabner leads the team with 19 goals after being awarded a hat trick in the Jan. 7 win over the Blue Jackets. That was his second hat trick of the year, and he now has more goals than Evgeni Malkin, Joe Pavelski, Connor McDavid, James Neal, Phil Kessel and more. Read the rest of this entry
For those who didn’t see, I posted a brief recap of last night’s game against Winnipeg. You can read that HERE.
If NY Ranger fans and analysts were asked at the start of this season, who would be leading the NYR in goal scoring after 13 games, who would be the top pick? Mats Zuccarello? Chris Kreider? Maybe one of the new kids – Jimmy Vesey or Pavel Buchnevich? Wrong, wrong and wrong. The answer is the surprise pick-up of the year, #40, Michael Grabner. The NYR acquired the 29 year old Austrian native from Toronto on July 1st to little fanfare. Grabner fetched a 2 year, $3.3M contract which is turning out to be the deal of the century for what this guy is now producing.
Most fans, if they even recognized the name at all, remember Grabner from playing five years with the NY Islanders. In 2010-2011, his first and best season with the rival franchise, he garnered 34 goals and 18 assists in 76 games. In September 2015 he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 80 games there, he scored a paltry 9 goals and 9 assists. It was no surprise he was not able to contribute significantly to the offensively challenged team ranked near the bottom of the league in goal scoring. However, with the way Grabs is currently playing for the Rangers, he is set to blow his best season stats out of the rink. Read the rest of this entry
For the first time in four games, the Rangers (6-3-0) will play with Chris Kreider in the lineup as they take on the St. Louis Blues (5-2-2) tonight at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers are coming off of an impressive victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, scoring six goals and being led by Michael Grabner, who had a hat trick, as well as the rest of the third line in Kevin Hayes and JT Miller, who each had three points. Antti Raanta made 31 saves for his second win of the season.
The Rangers’ offense has been buzzing without Chris Kreider, but now the forward group gets even more dangerous and deep with him back in the lineup tonight. He started out the season red hot, scoring three goals and seven points in each of his first five games. Read the rest of this entry
After a tough loss in Carolina, the Rangers (6-3-0) rebounded extremely well, scoring six goals and dominating Ben Bishop and the Tampa Bay Lightning (5-4-0) at Madison Square Garden.
Rick Nash opened the goal scoring in the second period, and from there the floodgates opened. Jimmy Vesey and JT Miller each scored in this period, while Michael Grabner netted the first of his hattrick in the middle period. Antti Raanta finished the game with 31 saves, surrendering a late goal to Steven Stamkos that spoiled the shutout.
Here’s my recap with some thoughts and observations; Read the rest of this entry