Emergence of ‘kid line’ is game changer for Rangers

There are plenty of reasons why the New York Rangers are in the Eastern Conference Finals and are already sitting in the 1-0 series for Tampu Bay Lightning Stanley Cup winners.

At the top of this list is the game of world goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin. He is a Conn Smythe franchise player and runs for almost every individual award he can win as a goalkeeper.

They also took the dominant performance from their power play, led by veterans Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider.

But there's one more reason to play, and that's probably the most inspiring thing for the Rangers' long-term vision. This is where the so-called "The Kid Line" (we need a better nickname for it, people) comes from Filip Chytil, Alexis Lafrenière and Kaapo Kakko.

The trio became something like a late regular season and then began to have consistent play time in the playoffs. They were the best Rangers in the first round against the Pittsburgh Penguins and gradually improved with each game.

They were great on Wednesday night against Tampa Bay, Chytil scored a few goals. This gives him five goals in the last three Rangers games and seven overall in the playoffs.

So far, the three have spent 115 minutes of 5-on-5 hockey together after the season and are among the best in the Rangers. The Rangers are above 50 percent in terms of the overall shot test, the chances of scoring a goal, the chances in jeopardy and the expected goals, with teams scoring 9: 5 on the ice with them.

The numbers are strong without any other context. But when you think about what the remaining Rangers will look like during a 5-on-5 game, you'll know how important they are to the team.


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