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2022 New York Rangers Playoffs

Updates from the Rangers on Saturday

Gerard Gallant met with the media on Saturday and said (NYR):

  • On going on the road, “It’s what you gotta do. The games at the Garden are behind us, we had good success with those two games and played real good hockey, but now we’re coming to Tampa and gotta play real well here. Tough game tomorrow afternoon in a good building, but play the same game and try to get two big points.”

  • On the goalie matchup, “the matchup, arguably the two best goalies in the league. Great goalies, you play the same game, you don’t change things. You have your goalie charts and they have their goalie charts on our guy. You go out and play the game and when you get an opportunity you shoot the puck as much as you can and try to get traffic in front of them. It’s not about the goalies, it’s about winning hockey games for us. I’m sure it’s the same for them.”
  • Have you noticed the forwards backchecking more, “I think there is definitely an increase in that, backchecking and getting back and they rush the puck as good as anybody in the league. You talk about stuff, this time of the year playoff time of the year, and I talked about it the other night, you are getting in shot lanes, blocking more shots, doing the little stuff and the little stuff pays off big for your team and I think we are doing a good job with that stuff.”
  • Can the experienced players explain the playoff-style or do you need to actually go through it, “I think it helps coming from those guys, we talk about it all the time, the little things win you games, especially at this time of the year, but I think every guy in the locker room watches playoff hockey, even if they didn’t play in it and they know the compete level comes up that much higher, winning those 1-on-1 battles, backchecking hard. All the little things matter now and that is what we are doing a better job of so far.”
  • On the defense, “It’s been huge and when our forwards come back and help them it makes a huge difference, that is the biggest thing because a lot of our guys play a lot of minutes, same as the Tampa defense. You rely on your big guys, but the other guys are just as important, getting in shot lanes, playing their key minutes and you need a group effort, that is the biggest thing I noticed with our group, it’s a group effort every night and it’s Foxy one night, Troubs, K’Andre another night. We see what Lindgren brings to our team, Schneider plays hard minutes and he plays 10-12 minutes, but he plays good and solid and then Justin Braun is doing his veteran thing. It’s an important group and they play hard.”
  • Are you used to seeing Lindgren in pain, (laugh) “the more games he plays the healthier he’s getting, that is the best thing. He feels great, works hard every night and comes to the rink ready to play. He’s a competitor and you expect it from him, you know what you are going to get every night.”
  • On the team’s chemistry, “I think from day one there is chemistry coming from our team. The guys were disappointed the last few years not being in the playoffs, not making the playoffs, not making a good run and from Day One a lot of those veteran guys stepped up helped our group and we brought the kids along and there are a lot of kids on our team, but they all took big steps for us and that is what we needed. Our veteran guys are very good, talented hockey players, but they brought everybody together and that is what is important.”
  • How does the chemistry help you, “Help me? Helps me a lot. Coaches can’t be in there all the time, telling them what to do and this and that. When you have veteran leadership doing that, that is when you know you’ve got a good hockey team and group.”
  • On Frank Vatrano and how you’ve subbed him for defense at times, “And I shouldn’t be, he’s played really well. (laugh) Honestly, I looked at that last night and said ‘Frankie is competing and playing well and working hard. It’s just sometimes you get in those things and you are watching the game tight and trying to pick your top guys to be out there in those areas and Frankie has been excellent, real happy with his performance. At first when we got him, people talked about lack of defensive abilities a little bit, but I don’t see that. He competes hard and gets into shot lanes as good as anybody and doing a real good job.”
  • What was your impression of Zibanejad before and how has it changed, “Actually, my impression a few years ago was that he was a streaky player, he was one of the best players in the NHL when he was hot and then some games you just didn’t see him consistently enough. I never saw one bit of that this year. He’s consistently been, probably, our best two-way player all season long. Defensively he kills penalties, faceoffs, he does it all for us. For 99% of the season that is what I’ve seen. He’s been outstanding and come a long way and he’s one of those players that wants to go to the next level and he’s done that this year for us and himself.”
  • How has the team’s belief changed through the year, “I think we built it as we went. I always come back to this because I read it in somebody’s notes one day, I don’t know who put it out, one of you guys did, we were first or second in the league in comeback victories and that is huge for our team. You get your confidence, build your team confidence from that and guys never want to quit. No quit is a perfect scenario for us because you just keep working and find a way and we did it enough times this year that we are going to build confidence with our group and that is what happened.”
  • Has there been a game during this run where team confidence was key, “I can’t think of one. I’m sure there is one, but I can’t think of it.”
  • You said that you didn’t think momentum carries over, but do you think the team has momentum now with four in a row, “We’re playing well, our best hockey the last four games, I would agree with that, but does it turn over tomorrow? I’m not a believer in that. We’ve got to continue to play our game, play well, work hard, do the same things that make us play well. Again, forecheck is a big part of our group, our compete level is a big part of our group and when we do that we  have a chance to win every game. I don’t think, just because we won the last four that we have momentum going into tomorrow, I don’t believe that.”
  • Would winning on the road elevate the team confidence, “we won our last one on the road, didn’t we? (laugh)”
  • Has there been a moment where you were concerned about Lindgren, “I haven’t been concerned once. To be totally honest with you, when he comes off the ice you guys see him more than I do because I’m coaching the game and more worried about the forwards. Maybe Gord Murphy might think that a couple of times, but I don’t hear nothing until between periods when the trainer comes and says that he might be nicked up and might need stitches or something like that. I don’t see it and he’s been really good the last couple of weeks, not many issues with it. He’s coming along.”
  • What does it take for someone to keep coming back, “It’s the NHL, he’s a professional, he wants to win. Most guys would do the same thing he is doing. He’s a character, a tough guy and that is his background. He battles through it. Like I said, he’s pretty close to healthy now. He’s battled through a tough injury and shows up every night and does his job.”
  • How much more of a resource is Goodrow right now, “Little things. Honestly, do we pick his brain? A little bit, but there’s not a whole lot. We’re coaches, we watch video tapes of their team. I coached with Jon Cooper a little bit in the World Championships, there are no surprises anymore. You do your work, every coaching staff does it’s work, there are no surprises on faceoff plays. We don’t worry about that thing, but Barclay played with a lot of those guys and he said that you can get under this guy’s skin a little bit doing this, little things like that, but not key, key things.”
  • What about what Goodrow has given you since he came back, “he’s given it his all. He was out for three and a half weeks and we missed him dearly and he’s one of those character guys that does all the right things. You talk about Lindgren and you talk about Goodrow, same type of guys.”