The New York Rangers have one of the best offensive lineups in the NHL. Their ability to score is a key reason why they sit first overall in the NHL, as practically every single one of the Blueshirts’ top forwards have made strong personal strides to improve their games.
Taking a look at the Rangers’ bottom six, there is a steep drop-off in offensive production. Players such as Will Cuylle and Jonny Brodzinski have been solid, but outside of them, there is very little production to be praised. This hasn’t been a pressing issue for the majority of this season, but following a frustrating defeat against the Florida Panthers last night, fans are beginning to realize just how much of a struggle this bottom six is having.
The Rangers need more offensive production from their bottom six
The problem regarding the Blueshirts’ scoring depth falls on three individual players- Barclay Goodrow, Nick Bonino, and Tyler Pitlick. Jimmy Vesey may not be as solid as Cuylle or Brodzinksi, but even he possesses the ability to score clutch goals when the Rangers need him to most.
The trio of Goodrow, Bonino, and Pitlick have combined for just 12 points across 91 individual performances this season. These numbers are horrendously bad, even for a bottom-six unit. The argument could be made that Filip Chytil’s absence has taken a negative toll on the offensive production, which is true, but the entire problem can not be placed on that factor alone.
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The Rangers can not fall back into the same routine as previous seasons
In the most recent years prior, the Rangers had a problem of relying solely on their top six and their power play for offensive production. This season seemed to bring a welcomed change, with all four lines contributing to the score sheet. But as of late, it seems as if that old problem is quickly making a resurgence.
This is the type of issue that could be season-ending. In the 2022-23 playoffs last year, the Rangers were bounced out of the first round as soon as their top two lines failed to produce. If this problem continues, it won’t be long before the top six is not enough to steal games for the remainder of the season.