Mika Zibanejad wears the Broadway Hat following his hat trick in Ottawa. AP Photo via Getty Images courtesy New York Rangers.
Plenty of people have already took notice of the new Rangers top line. And why not? Through two games, they’ve been dynamic.
It looks like for now, Pavel Buchnevich will stay with Mika Zibanejad and early Christmas present Artemiy Panarin. The cohesive trio have great chemistry. They already created some magic with a Panarin pass leading to one of the prettiest goals so far from Zibanejad on a tic tac toe play with a unselfish Buchnevich.
Even their teammates are noticing. Take Marc Staal, who heaped high praise on what he’s seen in two games.
When you can move the puck around like magicians, it makes it look easy. Not every game will be like that. Especially against tougher opponents. However, for Zibanejad to record his third career hat trick against his former team was special.
Here’s how it looked and sounded on MSG from the underappreciated John Giannone and partner Joe Micheletti last night.
It’s pretty cool that Zibanejad got his three goals in different situations. The first came on the power play on the rebound. The second during a seamless transition started by rookie Adam Fox with puck wizardry from both Panarin and Buchnevich leaving Zibanejad speechless. The third one off a terrific defensive play from Brendan Smith to cause a two on one shorthanded with Zibanejad using a perfect toe drag and laser top shelf to turn the trick.
It definitely could be a fun season. It’ll be interesting to see these guys go up against two of the game’s best players in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl later this week.