During the playoffs, Alain Vigneault said that one thing about Michael Grabner is that his game doesn't change when he is moved around the lineup.
Vigneault said that Grabner is someone who scares the opposition with his speed, forces turnovers and creates offensive opportunities.
Grabner scored 27 goals this season while mostly skating with Kevin Hayes and JT Miller.
By Month, Grabner scored:
- October: 9 games, 5 goals, 1 assist
- November: 15 games, 7 goals, 3 assists
- December: 14 games, 2 goals, 2 assists
- January: 11 games, 8 goals, 2 assists
- February: 13 games, 4 goals, 2 assists
- March: 10 games, 1 goal, 2 assists
- April: 4 games, 0 goals, 1 assist
Grabner had 21 goals in the 48 games before the All-Star break and only 6 in the 28 games after.
He had 9 goals this past season that were unassisted.
Grabner had 4 goals and 2 assists in 12 playoff games.
Adam Rotter: Grabner was supposed to be a fourth liner for the Rangers who would kill penalties, maybe score 10 or so goals and get constant breakaways that he wouldn't score on. Instead, Grabner mostly played in the top nine, killed penalties and converted on a lot of those breakaways. He had electric chemistry for a while with Hayes and Miller but then that trio ran a bit cold.
It's hard to look at Grabner and not consider his 27 goals, but he was a pretty effective player without the points. The Rangers should never be in a position where things go cold offensively because Michael Grabner is struggling. To me, Grabner is still a fourth liner and if he is back next season that should be his role. He can play up at times and hopefully score goals, but the Rangers need his offensive minutes in the top-nine going to someone else.