Fellow Teammate Thinks Criticism Directed At Kakko Is Unfair

Alexender Camilo
November 11, 2023  (1:59 PM)

The Rangers have a lot going for them right now.

Sitting in first place in the Metropolitan Division, riding a nine game point streak, a defensive powerhouse and their power-play is on absolute fire.
If there is one critique at their game, is their inability to score five-on-five goals, specifically from the top line.
Top center, Mika Zibanejad, spoke to New York Rangers reporter, Vince Z. Mercogliano, on the lack of five-on-five goals from the top line, having been down this road before and the criticism directed at Kaapo Kakko.

Here is the article!

It's an incredible piece, please give it read!
Zibanejad gives his reasons why he believes the top line consisting of Chris Kreider, Kakko and himself, only generated two goals at five-on-five through 13 games and why these droughts are often overanalyzed at this time of year.
But the most interesting topic came in defense of Kaapo Kakko and the criticism he's seen directed at the young forward. Here is a quote from the article from Zibanejad:
"He becomes such an easy target because me and Chris (Kreider) have been playing together for years. That's not fair to him."

Kakko spent the first 11 games of the season with Kreider and Zibanejad in the first line, who have been linemates for the better part of eight years, with the trio earning mixed results.
Blake Wheeler replaced Kakko at the top line and has scored his first goal of the season against the Minnesota Wild Thursday night.
It remains to be seen if this line will stay as is throughout the season, especially with the Patrick Kane talk swirling around the team.
But Kakko has received a massive bulk of the blame which might have been unfair for the young man.
Let's hope he will be able to excel in the third line and move his way back up into the mix.
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