Last night’s 4-3 overtime win over the Boston Bruins marked the end of the first quarter of the season. After 12 games the Rangers are 7-5-0 and sit in 8th place of the Eastern Conference with 14 points. After starting the year 1-3-0, the Rangers are 6-2-0 over their last 8 games. All of this means it is time to give out some grades.
Rick Nash (A-)
The only thing that keeps him from a straight A is the 3 goals in 12 games. His 10 points and +7 leads the team and he has been the most consistent forward. Nash looks to be a more complete package than advertised and the goals will come
Brad Richards (B-)
Richards is just one point behind Nash, but it has been a very quiet 9 points. He hasn’t been bad, just quiet. I will say that he has played pretty good defense and saved a couple of goals on hustle plays.
Marian Gaborik (C+)
The man who leads the team in goals gets a barely passing grade. Outside of his 3-goal game against the Bruins he has been very pedestrian. It even got to the point where Torts made comments saying he deserved to be benched. I expect more from Gabby for the next 36 games.
Marc Staal (B+)
Staal leads all defenseman with 7 points, which ranks 4th overall on the team. He started off slow, however, he looks as good as ever. He has been very physical and active offensively. My only critique is that he starts rushing the puck more. Good things seem to happen when he moves it up.
Carl Hagelin (B+)
Four or five games ago Hagelin would have been lucky to see a C+. Even when he was having a decent game he would take a stupid penalty and Torts would be all over him. 4 goals later and he is looking better than he has at any point in his short career.
Michael Del Zotto (C)
Del Zotto has been a hot mess on the powerplay, so I am glad Torts has finally moved towards using Stralman a lot more on the PP. DZ still does a lot of things well, however, his susceptibility to turnovers and inability to take things to the next level is very frustrating.
Derek Stepan (C+/B-)
This one is an extremely difficult grade. His stats aren’t far off his career averages and he has been playing very well lately, but my eyes tell me a different story and he was pretty awful early in the season so I am unsure how to grade him.
Taylor Pyatt (C+)
He has done next to nothing since his blazing start, but since he was signed to be a 3rd line player you can’t really complain about his performance.
Dan Girardi (B)
Girardi has been solid, but not nearly as good as he was last year.
Ryan Callahan (B+)
Callahan’s stats are only okay, however, he gets brownie points for all his intangibles and coming back so quickly from his injury.
Ryan McDonagh (B-)
McDonagh has been his terrific self on defense. That being said, I am still waiting for him to take the next step offensively. He is too talented to have just 3 points.
Chris Kreider (C+)
Kreider has looked worlds better since coming back from his injury. Can you believe he has only taken three shots this season? For a kid who can snipe that has to change.
JT Miller (B+)
The kid has really impressed in his four game stint. Even in his “worst” game he contributed by using his body and recording 7 hits.
Arron Asham (B)
He has been one of the most pleasant surprises thus far. He has barely dropped his gloves this season, but he has still found ways to make his presence felt on the ice.
Brian Boyle (D+)
It only took Boyle 9 games to find his way to the sidelines and with the way the team is playing his road back looks challenging.
Anton Stralman (B+)
I have loved his play this season. He really stepped up when Girardi went down and has looked decent on the powerplay.
Jeff Halpern (D+)
For someone who was pegged as a faceoff specialist, he has not looked all that good on the draw. He has no points, has taken just 5 shots, and is a -2. He doesn’t look as bad as the numbers would suggest, but he needs to have some production.
Darroll Powe (B)
It is a small sample size, but he has fulfilled a huge role for this team.
Stu Bickel (F)
If you couldn’t tell I don’t like him very much.
Matt Gilroy (B-)
It took a while for Gilroy to get a chance and he is making the most of it. He still hasn’t gained the full confidence of the coaching staff, but it looks like he is working his way to getting there.
Henrik Lundqvist (B)
Hank gets the benefit of the doubt because the defense has been pretty bad in front of him all season. I still expect more from him, but he gets a bit of a mulligan.
Marty Biron (B+)
Marty has been Marty and he deserves a start soon. Just 2 games played is too little.