What are the top insiders saying about the Rangers recent struggles
The New York Rangers picked up a much needed win against the St. Louis Blues on Monday night. They stopped a four game slide on home ice (0-3-1) and picked up just their second win in the last seven contests (2-4-1).
There struggles have generated a lot of buzz surrounding what they can do to shake things up.
Currently, the team sits in fifth place in the Metro Division, a point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and three in back of the New York Islanders. They’re tied with the Red Wings for the last wild card spot, but Detroit has three games in hand.
Not exactly what anyone was expecting from a team that went all the way to the Eastern Conference Final last season and boasts players like Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox, and Igor Shesterkin.
Insiders talk New York Rangers
There’s been a lot of speculation regarding head coach Gerard Gallant as being the fall guy for the Rangers woes. That includes talk from ESPN’s Emily Kaplan that James Dolan is monitoring the situation.
So is Gallant on the hot seat? From what I’ve gathered the answer is yes but a coaching change isn’t imminent. At least not with Barry Trotz saying he’d like to return in January.
One of hockey’s top insiders, Pierre LeBrun took a look at the Rangers in his latest column for The Athletic (subscription required).
“I could be wrong, but I see the course correction coming organically here. I don’t think Drury has to do anything drastic at this time,” LeBrun wrote. “This team will turn around. I know that’s a boring take, but this is an example of a team where patience will ultimately be the best course of action. Of course, I could be wrong. But there are times when GMs feel the pressure to do something drastic and end up doing something they absolutely regret.”
LeBrun also talked about the team being set up to trade for Patrick Kane at the deadline after moving Ryan Reaves. He did add the caveat that Rangers would be unlikely to land him if they’re on the bubble for the playoffs.
Another top insider, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman provided his take on his latest 32 Thoughts Podcast this week.
“There’s a lot of players that haven’t started well and that’s a major problem,” Friedman said. “I think Drury is trying to be patient. He understands that it’s a hard league to trade in. The only thing I wonder about is [James Dolan]. I think Drury has a plan but you have an owner there and when he makes up his mind to do something he’s a tough guy to stop. So does the owner look at this and say, ‘I’m not liking what I’m seeing.’
Friedman did add he hasn’t heard any traction on Barry Trotz replacing Gerard Gallant.
The New York Rangers have a tough schedule ahead with two on the road against the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche. That’ll be followed with two at home versus the New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs.
These upcoming games may go a long way in deciding what happens with this team for the second half of the season.
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