Barclay Goodrow ready to help Rangers beat his former team

It wasn’t too long ago when Rangers forward Barclay Goodrow was sacrificing his body to help the Tampa Bay Lightning win back-to-back Stanley Cups.

“It’s cool being back here,” Goodrow said after practice today in Tampa. “Last time on that ice, we were lifting the Cup. I’m excited to be back and looking forward to tomorrow night.”

On July 7th, Goodrow experienced hockey’s ultimate glory as the Lightning beat the Canadiens in five games. He did so with a broken hand. Cap issues led to him being traded and he missed out on raising the banner and getting his Stanley Cup ring, which Goodrow said he’ll be getting tomorrow morning.

Goodrow excited to help Rangers beat Lightning

Now the gritty forward has to help his new team take down his old one.

“I obviously know the systems and how they play,” Goodrow said. “In the end it comes down to our game. If we’re playing the way we’re capable of and not cheating things– When we have all four lines for 60 (minutes) we’re pretty hard to play against.”

The Rangers are going to need his help too. Tampa is once again one of the best teams in the league and despite having COVID issues will be hard to beat.

The Lightning currently have nine members of the organization on protocol. Both goalies Andrei Vasilevskiy and Brian Elliott, center Anthony Cirelli, forward Taylor Raddysh, defensemen Mikhail Sergachev, Cal Foote, and Andrej Sustr, and coaches Rob Zettler and Franz Jean.

“[Tampa] is in first place in the NHL again. Jon Cooper and his staff do a good job getting this team ready to play,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “They play hard. They work hard and that’s why they win Stanley Cups. It’s not just from their skill but their will and how they play every night.”

The Rangers also really need a win after blowing a third period lead to the Panthers on Tuesday. They are just 2-4-1 in their last seven.

Goodrow exactly what the Rangers traded for

barclay goodrow rangers
Dec 4, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Barclay Goodrow (21) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

When Lightning GM Julien BriseBois sent out a text to the league that Goodrow’s rights were available, Drury jumped on it. He sent over a 7th round pick and signed the 28 year-old to a six-year deal with a $3.6M AAV.

Since joining the Blueshirts, Goodrow is as advertised. He’s been physical with his play and been a leader both on and off the ice.

“He’s a great leader, a great character guy,” Gallant rained praise on Goodrow. “That’s what we want our kids to be. We want them to be consistent and play the game the right way. You learn from players on the ice and he’s a good example of how coaches want guys to play.”

This season, Goodrow has 11 points in 31 games and is on pace for 30 points which would be a career high. However, his importance goes well beyond points as he can play anywhere and kills penalties.

Goodrow is second in blocks among the team’s forwards with 23, one behind Rooney. He’s also third among forwards with 60 hits (Reaves 118, Kreider 64, Hunt 64).

“He plays wherever I ask him to play,” Gallant added. “Kills penalties. Does all the right things. He’s a good addition to our team. I really like him– everything a coach likes he does.”

The Rangers are going to need him to elevate his play. They are also going to need his insights to beat the Lightning not once but twice.

Tomorrow is the start of a home and home series against the defending champs.

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