WASHINGTON – When you look at the type of players brought to the Rangers this off-season, it’s not an encouraging sign that they scored just one goal and were called up for nine penalties. The Capitals lost 5-1 at the start of the season.
Just a few months ago, the Rangers were considered a team that sacrificed courage and will for skill and sophistication. It was an idea that General Manager Chris Dory came up with to grind players to fix this off-season that could cut the Rangers lineup a bit.
This cut may appear in their first game of the season, but as far as they face a top divisional rival in the capitals, The blue shirts were barking at all the losses. Wednesday night at Capitol One Arena.
“I think the physicality was good,” said Adam Fox, the defense chief. We were trying to get here and win the game of hockey, and obviously we didn’t. But I thought the boys definitely played hard.
As a media-driven story, the Rangers’ insistence on improving their line-up is astonishing. Drury brought in veteran enforcer Ryan Reeves, who joined him over the years with Tom Capital’s furious Tom Wilson, and Jared Tennordi, who also competed against Wilson. Also, before Dory took over as president and general manager, former management duo Jeff Gorton and John Davidson were the inventors of the mantra that played hard during the 2020 NHL Draft.
The Rangers stockpiled the top 10 draft picks over the years, all of which were highly skilled, and now the organization is just trying to find the right balance.
Head coach Gerard Gallant on Wednesday challenged the multiplicity of punishments by the Rangers for lack of discipline. In July, Sammy Bliss, who traded with the Blues in exchange for top six winger Paul Buchnwich, faced two harsh punishments from the Rangers.
“They weren’t such punishments,” Gallant said. “It was one of the two turnover sentences that the boys had to go to the people or hook the people. It was a lot. I think there was a penalty that was disciplined, but with that, the first 33 minutes really I had no problem with that and after that third goal, I thought we were a different team.
“We changed our game, we started high-risk plays and I look at the clock and the shots are 13-6 for us and then they score their second goal and the game changes from there.”
Asked if he felt the Rangers had met his tough fight spell, Mika Zeb Nazad said something special.
“Maybe not a full 60,” he said. “But I feel good about this group, I feel like the things we’ve seen. [Wednesday night] It’s definitely something we can work on and work on. Obviously, not happy with such losses and losses, but to quickly reunite here and get ready for it [Thursday]. ”