Entering his second season on the Rangers bench, Gerard Gallant has a clearer picture of his team, so the head coach knows exactly where he wants to start to piece together his 2022-23 lineup for the season.
“Certainly,” he said Wednesday afternoon when asked if the Rangers could run faster because he was more familiar with the club. “They know us better, know our training better – especially the players who played here last year. So it should be smoother, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easier.
“We’re going to do our job and try to get our team ready and get them ready for day one.”
Of course, everything will change (and likely will) throughout training camp and six preseason games, but Gallant sounded certain when he revealed the framework of his early line-up and defensive composition. A full season and three rounds of playoffs under him will do just that as a coach in his second year on the team. Galant’s adjustment period is long over, and he made it clear that he has confidence in the team he has.
First, according to Galante, the kid line of Alexis LaFrenier, Philippe Chitier and Cabo Cacco will be in the trio for the Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals season. Reunited after being disbanded after losing to the Chargers. The youngsters spent a lot of time together last season, including eye-opening performances for much of the playoffs.
“They gained a lot of experience last year and it was a great year for all of our young players,” Gallant said. “They’ve all gotten better this season and the playoffs have helped them a lot. We’ll see what happens this year. It’s a new year. They’re a year older. As a coach, you would say , “These players are going to get better this year. ”
“start [Thursday], put it on the ice, get ready and play for the exhibition game. Get ready for this season. Hopefully they’ll all be better hockey players this year because of what we did last year. ”
Vitali Kravtsov will get his first chance next to Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck, who Gallant says will replace Ryan Strome as the first power player. Gallant has become familiar with Trocheck after coaching part of three seasons with the Panthers, but the veteran center was only in his second NHL season when they first met.
In addition to highlighting Troček’s 200-foot game and ability to contribute to special teams, Galante noted that the 29-year-old’s overall game has naturally improved since his last coaching. big improvement.
The second edition of the ‘KZB’ series is also back, at least temporarily. Sammy Blais will start on the right wing alongside Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. Bryce was exactly that spot in the lineup before he tore his season-ending ACL at the hands of now-retired PK Subban earlier last season.
While this change in the top nine can and may change, it allows Barclay Goodrow to move into the fourth row, extending the Rangers’ lineup overall. Goodrow, who injured his ankle in the playoffs but made a shocking comeback in the second round against the Hurricanes, won’t start the team’s game but will practice as normal.
“He’s fine, he’s skating,” Galante said of Goodrow, who was a Rangers multiplayer in his first season. “But we’ll put him back a little bit in scrimmage games.”