Kevin Klein’s Fitting Return vs. Washington Capitals (Video)


New York Rangers’ right-handed defenseman, Kevin Klein, will finally return from injury in Game 1 of the 2nd round of the playoffs vs. Washington Capitals.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

New York Rangers‘ right-handed defenseman, Kevin Klein, had a career year in the 2014-15 NHL regular season.  In just 65 games played, Klein scored 9 goals and recorded 17 assists, totaling 26 points, and was a +24.  His career highs in each of those categories before this season were 4 goals, 17 assists, 21 points, and a +9.  So with the exception of assists, which only tied his career high, every other basic stat category was highly improved for Klein this season.

Also notice that Klein only played in 65 games this season.  If he played a full 82 games, I am sure his stats would look even better across the board.  But the fact of the matter is, he did not.  Reason being was a broken arm in which Klein suffered on March 11, and guess which team the Rangers played that night?

Yes, you guessed it, the Washington Capitals.

Since March 11, after blocking an Alexander Ovechkin shot that broke his arm, Klein has not played in a single game since but will finally make his triumphant return for Game 1 of the 2nd round of the playoffs, which happens to be against the Washington Capitals.

Now while it will probably take Klein some time to get back into the flow of things, his overall defense and minutes will be a welcome back addition to the Rangers’ starting lineup, most likely replacing Matt Hunwick in the lineup and limiting the minutes of Dan Boyle.

Some even think it would be a smart idea to replace Boyle with Klein and keep Hunwick in the lineup but since Rangers’ head coach, Alain Vigneault, likes to have 3 left-handed and 3 right-handed defenseman in his starting lineup, I do not think he will go that route but it is certainly something he should ponder before Game 1.

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Klein’s added offense this season should also be a welcome back addition to the Rangers’ starting lineup and I really hope, just like many fans are as well, that Vigneault gives Klein more time on the Rangers’ struggling power play, which ranked a poor 21 out of 30, operating at 16.8%, in the regular season and now in the postseason has converted on only 3 out of 20, operating at 15%.

With special teams being even more important in the playoffs, why not give Klein consistent minutes on a power play that has been pretty lackluster all season long?  I mean with an improved slap shot from the point like this, why wouldn’t you at least try it?

Next: New York Rangers: Dan Girardi Crucial to First Round Success

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