New York Rangers Year in Review: Top Five Goals of 2016
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Rangers have scored plenty of goals in 2016. There were the ugly goals, the pretty goals, and the eye-openers. In Blue Line Station’s first “Top 5” of the 2016 season, let’s take a look at the Top 5 Goals of 2016 for the Rangers.
While not owning a superstar, the New York Rangers have their fair share of talented players. New York’s depth allows them to put up exciting tallies on a nightly basis.
The likes of Kevin Hayes, J.T. Miller, and Rick Nash have the ability to wow at any point, with Hayes serving as a prime example of a tremendous passer.
Without further adieu, click through for the Top 5 Goals in 2016 by the Rangers.
Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
5. J.T. Miller-
First on the list is J.T. Miller. Miller burst onto the NHL scene with points in eight consecutive games last season. While not a part of that stretch, Miller wowed with an overtime winner against the Vancouver Canucks on January 19th.
The Rangers had been struggling to score all night against Ryan Miller, tallying only two markers on their first 47 shots of the night. New York came back and tied the game in the third period, however, setting up a wild overtime period.
In the overtime, Ryan McDonagh slid the puck to J.T. Miller. Miller’s original shot found Ryan Miller’s pad, but the Rangers forward was able to wrap the puck around the net quick enough to slide it past Ryan Miller and in. Despite the tremendous difficulty Ryan Miller gave the Rangers, J.T. Miller’s quick thinking and tremendous hands won the game for New York.
It was not Miller’s best goal in 2016, however. More on that later.
Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
4. Jimmy Vesey-
The newest member of the Rangers youth movement scored a brilliant goal in his first matchup against the rival Washington Capitals. After falling down early 2-0, the Rangers stormed back on goals by Brandon Pirri and Jimmy Vesey.
With the score knotted at two goals a piece, Vesey scored his finest goal of the season to date.
Although Vesey had already scored two goals in his NHL career, the goal was the first hint of how talented he could really be. Vesey’s ability to strengthen his way past the Capitals defense with speed and use his hands to deke elite goaltender Braden Holtby out took tremendous talent. Jimmy Vesey has tremendous talent.
Additionally, the goal ended up being the game winner for the Rangers, who are currently in the heat of the Metropolitan Division against the Capitals.
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
3. J.T. Miller Part 2-
J.T. Miller scored the top two goals of the 2015-16 season for the Rangers. The first tally was against the Vancouver Canucks, while the second was against another Canadian franchise, the Montreal Canadiens. Although it was not a game winner, nor did it hold equal importance as his first, Miller’s second entry on the list was magical.
With Carey Price injured all goals should be taken somewhat lighter, but even Carey Price would not have snuffed out the dekes J.T. Miller performed on the goal. Miller calmly made All-Star candidate Andrei Markov look like a traffic cone, then beautifully back-handed the puck over an unsuspecting and amazed Mike Condon.
The Rangers would go on to win the game 5-2, but Miller’s goal was the entire highlight reel. No wonder the youngster was selected to play for team North America in the World Cup of Hockey.
Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
2. Michael Grabner-
Michael Grabner scored the first and thus far only hat trick of the season for the New York Rangers. Grabner’s third goal was a thing of beauty, but the Austrian speedster did not have to do much work. Truthfully, the credit for the goal belongs to Kevin Hayes, but Grabner finished off the play. Take a look.
Kevin Hayes managed to not only use his big body to wiggle his way around perennial All-Stars Victor Hedman and Tyler Johnson, but also found a way to locate Grabner skating up the middle for a break. Hayes’ vision was the highlight of the play, but Grabner finishing off a hat trick only furthered the wow factor of the moment.
Hayes has performed plenty of terrific tricks against opponents, but his work on Grabner’s goal may have been his finest play yet.
When the goal was scored, the assumption was it could not be topped. Instead, it was topped only a few games later by a Rangers rookie.
Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
1. Pavel Buchnevich-
The top goal of 2016 goes to the most offensively gifted rookie the Rangers have had in a long time. The now-injured Pavel Buchnevich scored his third goal in as many games, widening the Rangers lead to three. Like Miller’s goal against the Canadiens, the goal is not being included due to in-game importance. Instead, well, see for yourself.
Buchnevich worked his way between two Jets defenders, but still saw no open lane to the net. Rather than forcing a pass into traffic or taking a harmless shot, Buchnevich went in on the goaltender, came back out, and fired the puck over the helpless stopper. The goal was not only the Rangers’ top goal of 2016, but it should be considered one of the top goals in the NHL in 2016.
For Buchnevich to make the play, he needed to utilize quick thinking, speed, and handiness at the same time. What a way for a player to score their first goal at Madison Square Garden.
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