The New York Rangers are now over .500 for the first time all season. The Rangers are currently on a 3 game winning streak as they head to Pittsburgh tonight. The Rangers have won six of their last eight games and are just 4 points back of the final playoff spot in the East Division. They trail the Penguins and Flyers who both have 27 points and with a two game series with Pittsburgh starting tonight the Rangers could pull even with them by Tuesday night. With Artemi Panarin still taking time away from the team I do not think any Rangers fan expected them to get hot while he has been out but there have been a few Rangers that have really stepped up!

Chris Krieder

Chris Krieder is a big reason the Rangers are over .500

Since Panarin’s been out no other Ranger has elevated their game as much as Krieder. He has two hat tricks, 8 goals and 10 points in the 6 games Artemi has missed. Krieder currently sits 5th in the NHL in goals scored with 13. Every night he is using his great speed and strength to create scoring opportunities. He is a vocal leader in the locker room and after a lot of speculation this past offseason I really believe the Rangers should name him the next captain.

Ryan Strome

After a very slow start to the season Strome has really turned it around. He has 8 points since Artemi left the line up and his line with Krieder has been clicking. Whether it is Kakko or Blackwell on the wing his line has been the most consistent Rangers line the past two weeks. He scored an unbelievable goal in yesterdays win against the Devils with a top shelf back hand.

With Mika Zibanejad continuing the struggle it has been so important for Strome to pick up his game even more. The Rangers are going to have an interesting decision on what to do with him. His trade value is extremely high but what else is out there that would be an upgrade?

Alexis Lafreniere

Don’t look now but the rookie is heating up! Laffy has 5 points in the last 5 games and is starting to show why he was the unanimous choice to be taken first overall in this past summer entry draft. He is now playing in the top 6 every night and have been put in bigger spots in the final minutes of games by the coaching staff. He had an absolute snip of a goal Thursday night again the Devils.

One thing that has impressed me the most about Alexis is his play in the defensive zone. Coming out the draft I did not see much talk about his defensive play but he has been very solid in his own zone and also physical along the boards. Now that he has 20+ games at the NHL level under his belt I think we start seeing the offensive superstar he was in junior come out. I am really excited to watch him progress through the end of the year.

Pavel Buchnevich

Captain Happy! Buch had a 7 game goal drought after scoring twice in the second game of the season and once he got that monkey off his back he hasn’t looked back. He has produced 2 goals and 3 assists during this Rangers 3 game winning streak and has been the Rangers most consistent forward for the past month.

He is now tied with Panarin for most points on the team with 18 but I think the most impressive part of his game this year is his defense. When I heard Quinn was going to try him on the penalty kill I did not think it would last training camp. Here we are 23 games into the season and he is our top penalty killer! He is another Ranger that the organization will have to face a big decision about whether to move him or not. With his trade value as high as its ever been do they sell high or resign him to a long term deal. With so many young talented wings in the Rangers organization its going to be a very tough decision.

Rangers vs Penguins tonight at 7:30PM on NBCSN

This young team is getting better and better as the season rolls on and if nothing else they are exciting to watch! Hopefully Igor returns to the line up soon and the get the Breadman and Trouba back because I think this team can make some noise down the stretch.

Rangers are over .500 and look to continue their winning ways tonight

Please be sure to bookmark our hockey page for hockey coverage and follow Belly Up Hockey on Twitter: @BellyUpHockey. Follow me on Twitter for more takes on the New York Rangers: @KHallNYYou can also listen to my NY Rangers podcast The Broadway Hat Podcast on Apple Podcast and Spotify for Rangers news and interviews with past and current players.

Kyle Hall
About Author

Kyle Hall

Kyle is a lifelong diehard New York Rangers fan and in 2020 took over as the teams beat writer for Belly Up Sports. Kyle also has a NY Rangers podcast on the Belly Up Podcast Network called The Broadway Hat Podcast.

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