Rangers All-Star would’ve ‘cellied like it was ’94’ if this happened in Game 3 win vs. Capitals

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Washington Capitals
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Trocheck is doing it all for the New York Rangers so far in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, following up an All-Star regular-season with outstanding play in their first-round series against the Washington Capitals.

Trocheck, who had an NHL career-high 77 points this season, is tied for the Rangers lead in goals (2) and points (5), played a gritty two-way game and has won a whopping 72 percent of his face-offs to help the Rangers take a 3-0 lead in their best-of-7 series against the Capitals.

The 30-year-old might’ve taken over the unofficial team lead in another category following the Blueshirts 3-1 win in Washington on Friday, too.

Best quip of the postseason.

A guest on TNT’s postgame show, Trocheck was asked how he would’ve reacted if Igor Shesterkin scored a goalie goal in the final minute of the game. Shesterkin had that chance when he took aim at the Capitals empty net and fired a shot that was intercepted by Alex Ovechkin in the neutral zone with the clock winding down.

“I had energy, for sure,” Trocheck said laughing. “I would’ve cellied like it was ’94!”

Related: Rangers coach hints at issues with penalty calls in playoffs

Vincent Trocheck doing it all for Rangers in 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Washington Capitals
Vincent Trocheck hugs goalie Igor Shesterkin after New York Rangers 3-1 win in Game 3 against Washington Capitals — Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Needless to say, Trocheck just further endeared himself to Rangers fans everywhere with his quick-witted response that referenced the Blueshirts last Stanley Cup championship 30 years ago.

More importantly, the veteran center is playing at an extremely high level, trying to help the Rangers equal the magic of 1994. He scored a power-play goal off a pretty give-and-go with Mika Zibanejad in Game 3 and set up Barclay Goodrow’s shorthanded tally on a 2-on-1 rush.

He also delivered five hits and won 12 of 16 face-offs (75 percent) in a monster performance in which he logged a team-high 25:14 in ice time. Trocheck, Zibanejad (five points), Alex Wennberg and Goodrow (three points) have given the Rangers a massive advantage down the middle at the center position in this series.

“I think everybody’s turned it up a little bit since that first game. Obviously, the playoffs are the best time of the year, everyone wants to have their best game,” Trocheck said. “Everyone’s playing at full speed right now up and down the lineup. I think we have really good depth. … right now, we’re hitting our stride.”

Trocheck and the Rangers can complete a first-round sweep with a win Sunday night at Capital One Arena. With that would come a likely expected date with the Carolina Hurricanes in Round 2, one that would be significantly more difficult than the Capitals series.

The Hurricanes are also looking to finish off a first-round sweep, when they visit the Islanders at UBS Arena on Saturday afternoon.

But that’s all part of the journey ahead. Because in the end, Trocheck and his teammates would love to really celebrate like it’s 1994.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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