There is no doubt that everyone will mention the usual suspects when it comes to the New York Rangers offense.
Fans will talk about Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, Vladimir Tarasenko, Patrick Kane, Vincent Trocheck, and Adam Fox (Yes, I know he is a defenseman). It is these players that have been producing for the Blueshirts consistently this season.
With that said, the team has a trio of forwards who have played well this season, especially since team head coach Gerard Gallant put them back together. You know who I am talking about if you are a Rangers fan.
If you do not follow the Blueshirts, the trio I am talking about consists of Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko, and Alexis Lafreniere. The “kid line” rose to prominence in last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, and after not playing with each other for a decent chunk of this season, Gallant decided to put them back together.
Since then, they have contributed to the team’s strong play. The perfect example of this was the line’s performance in their team’s 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday, March 25.
The line combined for six points and was easily the team’s best line. For starters, they scored three of the team’s four goals.
When the team was down 2-0 in the second period, Kakko got the Rangers back on the board when he stuffed in a rebound shot to make it 2-1. For Kakko, it was his 14th goal of the season.
Later in the second period, Lafreniere tied the game with a beautiful backhand goal. It was Lafreniere’s 15th goal of the season.
After Kane scored on a lucky bounce to make it 3-2, Chytil scored his 21st of the season to make it 4-2. The Panthers would get it to 4-3, but that would be it, as the Rangers would come away with their 43rd victory of the season.
Overall, Chytil, Kakko, and Lafreniere are having solid seasons. Chytil leads the young trio with 41 points, while Kakko and Lafreniere have 36 and 34 points, respectively.
This line’s strong play could not have come at a better time for the Rangers. Yes, the forwards/defenseman mentioned at the very beginning of this article will be expected to produce come April, but if the Rangers can get their youngest line on a hot streak heading into the playoffs, it will give the Rangers three good scoring lines at the most important time of the year.
The playoffs will be another opportunity for Chytil, Kakko, and Lafreniere to strut their stuff and show that they can and will be a strong part of the Rangers’ core moving forward.