Jacob Trouba hemet toss underscores Rangers turnaround

The New York Rangers were at a boiling point losing on Garden ice to the bottom-dwelling Chicago Blackhawks. That led to first-year captain Jacob Trouba exploding against the opposition and at his own teammates.

After leveling Andreas Athanasiou on a monster open-ice hit which led to his second fight of the game, Trouba skated to the locker room with less than three minutes remaining in the period, threw his helmet against the boards and yelled to the Rangers bench: “Wake the [expletive] up!”

After the game, Trouba was beside himself and looked like he was on the verge of another explosion. 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,” Trouba explained. “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.”

Jacob Trouba sparked the Rangers turnaround

jacob trouba new york rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

That was December 5 with the Rangers wallowing at 12-10-5 and sitting fifth in the Metro Division. Since that loss, the Blueshirts have gone a remarkable 16-4-3  and hold third place starting play today.

Strategically positioned in between the benches, MSG Analyst John Giannone witnessed up close and personal what the Rangers captain did.

“It was an enough of is enough attitude,” Giannone told Forever Blueshirts. “But no one expected what Trouba did. It was surprising since no one throws equipment or a helmet at the general direction of the bench. While there wasn’t too much of a reaction from the them at the time, the players spoke about it over the course of a couple of days and responded.”

According to the NY Post’s Mollie Walker, she saw the difference in the Rangers room immediately.

“The locker room definitely,” Walker noted. “On the ice, it still took a couple more games to play that straight line hockey they want to be playing and it just became a lot more cohesive as it unfolded.”

The New York Rangers are looking to close the last 33 games of the season strong. There’s no doubt that Trouba’s actions have had a lasting impact with the team pushing for a playoff spot.

“There’s been a lot of conversation around Jacob Trouba and his captaincy this season” Walker explained to us. “That was a moment of emotion and the team followed suit. That’s what you need from your captain and a tell that naming Trouba captain was the right move for the Rangers this season in order to take the next step. A lot of the team points to that as the turning point for them.”

Trouba, 28, has 14 points in 49 games this season but his singular focus heading into the stretch run is on the team.

“It’s time to get back to work,” Trouba stated Sunday. “It’s a tight race for the playoffs– we’re in the mix and we’re looking forward to a good stretch run.”

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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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