"I think any player would be,’’ said Zibanejad, who has one goal and two assists in 11 games. "So yeah, it is frustrating, but I’m trying to work through it. I thought we created a little bit more today as a line, and we just got to keep doing that. The more chances you get, the bigger a chance, you have to get on the scoresheet and to help the team win.
"It’s frustrating, but [I'm] just trying to work through it,’’ he said. "It’s not going to be perfect for a whole season for your whole career. So this is just another challenge, another tough situation. You have to overcome it. You do that by working hard.’’
Coach David Quinn said he thinks Zibanejad, who missed most of training camp after having COVID, is still getting over that but looks as if he is starting to come around.
"I think he’s still working through [recovering from the virus] a little bit,’’ Quinn said before the game. "But, you know, he’s just off to a slow start. And he and I’ve talked about it. He’s acknowledged that he’s a little frustrated, but there are definitely signs that he’s coming out of it.’’
Zibanejad won 11 of 13 faceoffs Monday, something the Rangers have struggled with all season.
Monday was the third anniversary of The Letter, the message that Rangers management sent to the fans that officially announced the team’s decision to rebuild. . . . D Brendan Smith missed his second game with an upper-body injury but practiced Sunday and is close to returning, Quinn said. Forward Colin Blackwell (upper-body injury) skated Monday morning. D Jack Johnson (groin) has not skated but is making progress, Quinn said.