Michael Grabner is having an unusually good season.
With 19 goals, he’s one of the top goal-scorers in the NHL halfway through the season, and this is coming after just a nine-goal season with the Toronto Maple Leafs the year before.
That was a team designed to fail though, and as much as Grabner may be getting less ice time this season, he’s shooting the puck way more often - and it’s going in more, too.
As the New York Rangers get set to play the Leafs once again, Grabner’s success this season isn’t lost on his former Leafs teammates, as Pierre LeBrun documented for ESPN. In fact, they’re not surprised by how well he’s doing at all.
As Nazem Kadri put it:
“With that incredible speed he has and how good his stick is -- he comes up top and forces the defenseman to make bad plays. He's just unbelievable at that.''
And Leo Komarov:
"He got a breakaway almost every game. He was really good. He probably had like 30-40 breakaways last year. This year he's scoring, too. He's got the confidence back. He's a good player and he's obviously showing everyone that.''
Hopefully Grabner can keep creating those breakaways - and capitalizing on them while he’s at it. A few more for old time’s sake against his former teammates wouldn’t hurt, would it?