Gallant has first season leading Rangers to playoffs

Gallant has first season leading Rangers to playoffs

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — The New York Rangers pointed to Gerard Gallant’s success as head coach when he was forced to take over a team struggling to develop an identity during a three-year rebuilding effort last June. was hired.

The veteran coach previously led Florida to the Atlantic Division title in 2016, the Pacific Division title from Vegas and the Stanley Cup final in his inaugural season in 2018, and guided Canada to a world championship gold medal from a 0-3 start . Year.

Gallant has come to a steady impact in his first season in New York, leading the Rangers to a second-place finish in the Metropolitan Division and their first playoff appearance in five years apart from a qualifying round in 2020. New York faced Pittsburgh. Penguins are starting on Tuesday.

“I knew it was a talented team, I knew it was a young team,” Gallant said. “We just wanted to make a move. I didn’t know if we were going to finish in first place or we were going to end up fighting for a playoff spot. Obviously things went well for our team this year and we Still in good shape. Long way to go than expected, but keep grinding.”

The Rangers finished with 52 wins, with the 1993–94 Stanley Cup winning team the second most wins in franchise history – just one behind the 2014–15 team. It is a notable change from the 27-23-6 mark in a brief season under former coach David Quinn a year earlier.

“As a coach you never come here and say ’50 wins will be a great season for us,” Gallant said. To see. …It’s been a real good year and a lot of fun too.”

In the 2020 bubble, the Rangers were beaten in three games by Carolina in the qualifying round. Now, they will have a home-ice advantage against Pittsburgh when the first round begins next week.

Chris Creder said of making the playoffs, “This is what we set out to do. Now that we’ve done that we have to keep building up and be ready to stretch here, the real season.”

Rangers have been successful this season with balancing scoring, timely goals, strong defensive play up and down the lineup and some great goalscorers.

Kreider has had an MVP-caliber season with 52 goals – tied for the second-most single-season run in franchise history and a team-record 26 on the power play – and 25 assists. Artemi Panarin has 96 points, including 74 assists – the third-highest in team history – and Mika Zibnejad (81 points) and Adam Fox (74) gave Rangers four players with at least 70 points for the fourth time. The last time came in 1993–94 during their last cup winning season.

The Rangers’ 2.49 goals allowed per game are second only to Metropolitan Division-winner Carolina. They are fourth in power plays and seventh in penalty killings. and goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin leads the league with 2.07 goals-average and .935 save-percentage, and is sixth in wins (36).

This season has involved more on that side of the puck than the emphasis on defense.

Forward Ryan Strom said, “I don’t think it’s been used specifically, I think (the Gallants) have found a specific way to do what they want us to do and it’s pretty standard.” “It’s nothing crazy, it’s simplicity and shopping. It’s never a perfect game, but I think we know what it takes and what he expects of us.”

Asked to compare his success with the Rangers to the expansion of the Golden Knights in his first season, when he won the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach, Gallant is quick to shrug off any credit.

“I had good teams,” he said. “When you work with good teams and good players it makes you feel great about it. It’s not about me or my coaches, it’s about the players you put on the ice, And I think it’s been real fun so far and a lot of fun with our group, a good team that’s ready to move on.”


Follow Vin Cherwu


More Associated Press NHL: more