Captain Jacob Trouba explodes as New York Rangers implode again
The New York Rangers reached a tipping point in their latest loss, this time to the lowly Chicago Blackhawks who were winless in their previous eight games (0-7-1). You knew things were bad when first year captain Jacob Trouba absolutely exploded at his teammates in the second period.
He just finished delivering his second monster open-ice hit on a Blackhawks player which led to his second fight of the game and third in the last two matches. As he skated to the locker room with less than three minutes remaining in the period, per multiple sources he looked at his bench and yelled: “Wake the [expletive] up!”
At the time, the Hawks were up 3-0 and Trouba temporarily sparked the team as they scored on Jonathan Toews’ instigator penalty. However in the third period, another reckless turnover led to Trouba being forced to hook Patrick Kane, who assisted on the ensuing power play goal and send the Rangers to their third straight loss at home (0-2-1).
Jacob Trouba explodes at Rangers
After the game, Trouba was beside himself and looked like a volcano on the verge of exploding. When asked about the team’s woes he paused for a long time and uttered “careful what I say” before responding.
“I think we could use a little more emotion, a little more will in our game,” said Trouba as he cautiously chose his words. “It’s not easy. You’re not out here to go for a twirl. It’s a hard game and you have to play it hard. There’s a lot of story left to be written. It’s not a done thing by any means but it’s gone on for a bit now. Something needs to change. There’s needs to be a little more of a pushback from within. We can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.”
On the flip side, Gerard Gallant tried to put a more positive spin on the latest debacle. Unfortunately, his words seem disingenuous after watching a lot of his players show no sense of urgency for most of the contest.
“It was different,” Gallant said. “I thought we played faster but we have to make adjustments. But we definitely played harder than we did the other night (against Ottawa). I saw more to tonight than I did the other night, put it that way. It’s a team thing. It can’t be 13,14, players– it has to be 20. We’ll get out of this sooner or later.”
Gallant is a player’s coach and since he’s been here calling out anyone publicly isn’t his style. Sure, he’ll address a question about a specific player but will immediately go back to the team concept.
Of course, behind closed doors he could very well be peeling paint with scorched earth sermons that no one knows about. That being said, his over reliance on veterans like Jimmy Vesey and Ryan Carpenter makes no sense. And his unwillingness to address his stubborn top power play unit as they continue to be thwarted trying to force-feed Mika Zibanejad for his one-timer is frustrating to everyone, even the five guys on it.
That being said, this mess isn’t solely of his own making. GM Chris Drury constructed the roster and made the decision to bring in Vincent Trocheck instead of keeping Ryan Strome, who would’ve been cheaper and already had chemistry with Artemi Panarin.
So now what can Chris Drury do? Salary cap and no-move clauses handcuff him from making a shake-up trade. Which will leave him with only one option and thus putting Gerard Gallant officially on the hot seat.
Patrick Kane dumps Rangers
There’s been a lot of rumors linking future trade deadline rental Patrick Kane to the Rangers. At this point, it’s neither here nor there since the team is floundering and no where near contention.
Last night, Kane put on a show in the Hawks 5-2 win over the Blueshirts. If that was his audition it was a good one as he collected a goal and two assists. The 34 year-old winger also hit the 1200 point mark and became the 50th player in NHL history to do so.
Among U.S. born players, Kane joins Mike Modano (1,374 points), Phil Housley (1,232) and Jeremy Roenick (1,216) to reach that milestone. By the time this season ends, he should become the second leading scorer among all American players.
New York scored both their goals on the man advantage with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider notching the tallies.
Jaroslav Halak struggled in net stopping only 16 of 20 shots.
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