Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
When the playoffs started, hockey fans in New York were probably expecting star players such as Rick Nash, Derek Stepan or Brad Richards to lead the team in scoring and produce offensively on a consistent basis.
But it's been the impressive performance of young center Derick Brassard that has carried the Rangers offense in the postseason thus far.
He leads the team in scoring (10 points) and assists (eight), while tallying a point in six of New York's 10 playoff games.
Without Brassard's success as a playmaker in the postseason, the Rangers probably would not have beaten the Washington Capitals in the first round because many of the team's top-six forwards have made little to no impact offensively.
Nash, Richards, Stepan and captain Ryan Callahan have combined for just 13 points in 10 postseason games, which is one reason why the Rangers have scored the second-fewest goals of the remaining playoff teams.
In the first postseason of his career, Brassard has established himself as a key part of the Blueshirts' success now and for the future. He's a talented two-way center who plays a physical game and produces offensively on a consistent basis.