Gerard Gallant fumes over Rangers ‘garbage’ performance in loss to Caps

New York Rangers
Dec 27, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Julien Gauthier (12) collides with Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Irwin (52) as defenseman Alexander Alexeyev (27) clears the puck during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers stunk up Madison Square Garden in a 4-0 loss to the Washington Capitals with a performance that head coach Gerard Gallant labeled as ‘garbage’.

“We were garbage tonight,” Gallant said. “We didn’t deserve to win…I didn’t know what to do. I scrambled the lines again. Really disappointed in the group tonight.”

It was truly a poor effort from a team that needs to play really well to overcome a slow start over the first two months of the season.

With the loss to the Capitals (44 points) and the Islanders (42 pts) win over the Penguins (43 pts) on Tuesday, the Blueshirts (43 pts) now hold the last wild card spot by a point.

Gerard Gallant fumes over Rangers performance

Gerard Gallant Rangers
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers were solid to start the game but found themselves in a hole early thanks to suspect officiating.

Ryan Lindgren was erroneously called for a slash, which was actually committed by Vincent Trocheck. The referees then made a horrendous holding call on Chris Kreider. On the replay, Alex Ovechkin looked like he lost his balance before the refs arm went up.

On the ensuing 5 on 3, a high rebound off Igor Shesterkin’s shoulder was misplayed by Jacob Trouba and Marcus Johansson jammed the puck home at the 8:44 mark. From there the Rangers frustration began to mount.

The Rangers got an early power play opportunity in the second period. If they weren’t thwarted by Darcy Kuemper, who made 32 saves, they were shooting wide again.

It all fell apart late in the middle frame when Conor Sheary went into the blue paint making contact with Shesterkin. Erik Gustafsson scored while the Rangers netminder was impeded and Gallant decided to challenge for goalie interference. Stunningly, the refs ruled there was no contact.

New York was assessed a delay of game penalty for the failed challenge and the Capitals would score soon after the penalty expired to make it 3-0. Basically, it was game over right there.

“We didn’t get any breaks from the officials,” Gallant said. “I thought there was goalie interference. He went into the crease, we didn’t put him there. He made contact, not much but enough for me. The refs weren’t great but we were garbage tonight. [The refs] had nothing to do with us losing.”

Gallant certainly had an argument considering at one point Julien Gauthier was all alone in front and had his legs kicked out from him unpenalized to eliminate a chance right in front of the refs.

In the end, Shesterkin battled to keep his team in it and finished with 26 saves. He was the only one Gallant absolved afterwards.

“One team showed up to win a hockey game and the other team didn’t,” he concluded. “We just had a bad game and it was a full effort besides the goaltender. He was outstanding again. A lot of guys didn’t show up.”

Notable Rangers

  • Igor Shesterkin stopped 26 of 30
  • NYR PP was 0-5
  • NYR were just 44% on draws

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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