Derick Brassard is easily one of the most skilled offensive players on the Rangers. He's a fluid skater, can make every pass on the ice and has a deadly shot.
However, the consistency that eluded him in Columbus and ultimately led to his trade to the Rangers seems to have followed him to New York.
After an impressive run with the Blueshirts last spring, Brassard had just 13 points (5g, 8a) through 31 games to start the season, but since December 8th, he has again caught fire scoring 12 points (3g, 9a) in the last 15 games.
So what's been the problem? What's led to his uneven tenure with the Rangers?
After taking a deeper look into Brassard's stats this season, I have four words for the 26-year old forward, "Shoot the puck, Brassy!!!!"
Yes, the infamous plea that Rangers legendary broadcaster Bill “The Big Whistle” Chadwick would shout at former Rangers defenseman Barry Beck in the 1980s is very much applicable to Brassard today.
During those first 31 games, Brassard had a miniscule 49 shots on goal (1.6 per game), however, in the last 15 contests he has 39 shots on goal (2.6 per game).
Even without the statistics, you can tell by watching the games that Brassard's first instinct is to be a playmaker. Earlier this season, he was passing up way too many opportunites in effort to setup a teammate. Now on a line with Zuccarello, he's finding himself with the puck in a position to shoot and he's not hesitating...
“I think the success of our team right now, why we’re scoring a lot of goals, is because we found chemistry between lines. Even on the power play, we have the same units,” Brassard said to Pat Leonard of the Daily News. “With the same line I feel better. I know who I’m playing with every night. We know each other, we know what to expect from each other. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been playing a little bit more and I’m playing with Mats who’s got some really good offense and Benny (Pouliot) as well.”
While you always want your centers to get their wingers involved, you also don't want them to become too predictable. For Brassard to sustain this impressive stretch of play, he needs to take what the defense is giving him and if the defense gives him the shot, he must do this..
If Brassard continues to be more assertive with that laser of a shot, the inconsistencies that have plagued his career will begin to dissipate, while his goal totals and hopefully the Rangers win totals will continue to climb.
That gives me chills, what a fantastic effort by all three of them. The top 3 lines are the lines AV envisioned during preseason. If hank continues to progress to his old self and if step can somehow find his game, this season could turn out much better than we originally thought!
Remember Brass' first or second game at MSG when he said he heard the MSG crowd yell shoot, and he did, and scored?
I felt Zuc would do the same thing early in the year he would always look to pass and never shoot. And now look at him. Hes near the top in goals on our team as well as points.
Man...that video is great. Zucc is just playing pond hockey out there! I love that guy! His passes while getting knocked on his ass are better than 3/4 of the team's passes during 3 on 1 drills in practice!
With all the talk lately about MDZ ang how the Rangers should have traded him last year when he had value, etc., I wonder if Sather might be thinking along those lines with guys like Brassard and Pouiliot? It's a tricky line for sure because the team is going well and they've showed good chemistry lately with Zucc. Just makes me wonder because it's a lot easier and fruitful to trade players who are producing rather than struggling players that have shown potential. I guess it all depends on whether he thinks Pouliot has finally figured it out at 27 and Brassard is poised to take the next step.
I just looked up Taylor Pyatts stats...LOL!!! 0 points, 5 shots, -3 in 5 games.
Carcillo is looking reeeeeeeeeeeeal good!!!
@TheNYRBlog i actually happen to love that line on pp too they are whipping the puck around like no line since jags, nylander n straka.
@TheNYRBlog agreed Zucc is passer/creator on that line if CaptTaco drives the net n is in on forecheck we need Brass to fill lanes n shoot!
I love brassard I think he's pound for pound the best center we have. he kinda gets lost in the mix, but thy kid is crafty!!!
@_Jack I know what you're talking about. I think it was a power play goal against the Capitals in the playoffs. Our fans were so sick of the passing and no shooting with that broken power play they started chanting for him to shoot and he scored.
wouldn't surprise me since both are FAs
@VinTric9 @TheNYRBlog With Zucc. on his line and passing as accurately as he does, Brassard will get plenty of opportunities to shoot because IMO Zucc is a true playmaker and a great passer. Hope AV will keep that line togeather.
@johnAMIRANTESrugHe has tremendous skill. If he can start shooting more I think it'll open up so much more for him.
"OOH! A red line!" Great movie
@pkh33That sex scene was my childhood porn.