Glimpse of Hope in Zibanejad’s Struggles

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 10: Mika Zibanejad #93 of the New York Rangers skates against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden on February 10, 2021 in New York City. The Bruins defeated the Rangers 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

It’s no secret that Mika Zibanejad has struggled to start the 2021 campaign but over the last few games he has finally shown some signs of life.

One goal and three points through twelve games definitely is never what you want from your top line center but regrettably there is where the Rangers currently find themselves. The season did not get off to the best start for Zibby with his bought of covid which cost him almost all of the Rangers abbreviated training camp.

While we do not know much about covid the one thing that we do know is that it will attack a person’s lungs and not just while they are going through symptoms. It did not help matters for Mika that during the Blueshirts second game of the year he violently went careening into the boards.

For the most part of the first 10 or so games, Mika never looked right. Whether it was his skating or just being able to create chances on the ice or being far too passive in his game, something was clearly wrong. Whether he was dealing with lingering issues from his covid bout or he tweaked something crashing into the boards, or quite possibly just not having a training camp after two long layoffs.

While it is never ideal for a number one center to be struggling as mightily as Zibanejad has been, it’s extremely worse when you consider the Rangers down the middle. Ryan Strome has struggled to put it nicely, Filip Chytil being hurt, Brett Howden being well….Brett Howden, the Rangers best center has been Kevin Rooney.

Even throughout all the darkness this year around Zibanejad, there looks like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Over the last three games Mika looks to have his jump back as his skating has gotten remarkably better and he’s been creating chances nearly every time he’s been on the ice. After the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night Mika could have easily had 3 points if it wasn’t for some spectacular saves from Tuukka Rask.

Like his team, Zibanejad lately has been playing well but just not getting the results. If Zibanejad keeps playing the way he has over the last three games then the goals and points should definitely start to come especially in the case of Zibanejad that like we saw last year when he scores he will do it in bunches.

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  • Nick has been an integral member of TheFHN since the founding of the network. A hockey player in various levels since a young age and a lifelong Rangers fan, Nick bleeds blue. As a podcaster for the past 8 years, Nick is 1/2 of the team for the Two 4 Roughing and 30 on Broadway Talking Blueshirts podcasts. In addition to the podcasts, he is a writer for 30 on Broadway OT.


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