New York Rangers Mika Zibanejad shined last season with 75 points and career-high 41 goals in 25 fewer games than the year prior.

His finest moment, came when people didn’t wear masks and could attend hockey games on March 5th. A 5-goal performance at home against Washington.

In his first 14 games last season, Zibanejad had 16 points, 6 goals, and 10 assists. This season through 14 games a stunning 3 points, 1 goal, and 2 assists.

His expected goals (Xgoals) worst for a forward on the team during 5-5 play at .42. No goals during 5-5 play this year. In 19-20, 19 goals and Xgoals of 0.74 .

Zibanejad missed most of the training camp this season with COVID-19. He was asked about after-effects from COVID on his cardio after Feb. 24th loss to Pittsburgh.

“Nope, I don’t know and don’t feel anything like that, Zibanjad said. “Straight- answer no.”

Zibanejad ranks fourth on ice time per game at 20:42; behind Fox, Panarin, and Trouba.

Last few weeks, Zibanejad has won more faceoffs but he’s still down compared to last year. (2019-20 ; 51.1% to only 44. 4 % in 2021)

Zibanejad has been unlucky, explained in a hockey sabermetric PDO that ads on-ice save percentage to on-ice shooting on 5-5 even strength.

If a player’s number is below 1.000 like in this case (.95) then the player has experienced bad luck.

Last year, according to Natural Stat trick, Zibanejad ranked 1.027. Showing Mika was quite lucky compared to this year.

Unlucky yes, but Zibanejad may not be 100 percent from COVID-19. Hopefully, Zibanejad snaps this downturn before the season is lost. Rangers played game 14 last night and only 14 away from the half point in the season.

Zibanejad looks to be in training camp in parts of the game. He looks a step too slow or passing when he needs to shoot. The stats show that he needs to improve and shoot more.

“We were lacking a little bit of desperation to be honest with you,” Zibanejad said last night. “The whole game, we didn’t get up to the level we needed to.

“We’ve got to find a way to get it done.”

Last Wednesday, after a OT loss to Boston, he declared he felt more comfortable.

“I felt like my old- self today,” Zibanejad said.

“I felt a lot better today,” he said. “Obviously the chances were there but I didn’t really capitalize on them. I just have to keep going and get a little better every day.”

Head Coach David Quinn after same game said he saw Mika coming around.

“Tonight, for sure, was the guy we saw last year in a lot of ways,” said Quinn. “He did a great job defensively, with his body, was on the puck and got great scoring chances.

“He wanted it and had a swagger to him tonight.”

I hope, I didn’t bore everyone with statistics but I’m a baseball nerd. COVID affects people in different ways and Atlanta Braves Freddie Freeman had serious COVID-19 symptoms and started off with a horrendous batting average .125 and OPS .625. Through his first 13 games then he managed to win the MVP.

Season is not lost for Mika!

Credit:, NHL Stats,