Rangers coach hears chants for Matt Rempe in lineup

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since forward Matt Rempe debuted for the New York Rangers against the New York Islanders at MetLife Stadium, fans have fallen head over heels for the rookie.

The 6-foot-8 hulking beast of a winger immediately earned their adoration with a heavyweight tilt against Islanders’ veteran enforcer Matt Martin. It amped up the crowd and his teammates, who eventually overcame a late two-goal deficit in the third period for a rousing 6-5 overtime win.

When Rempe is not in the lineup, fans voice their displeasure on social media or in person at Madison Square Garden. In a recent lifeless loss to the Philadelphia Flyers last week, chants of “We Want Rempe,” came across loud and clear.

“I might hear them once or twice,” coach Peter Laviolette admitted on Monday with a smile.

“I think he is effective. His last game was excellent. I know it’s limited ice with his role and responsibility, but they were a positive line.”

Rempe was a physical force in a 3-2 shootout win versus the rival Islanders on Saturday. Despite being a -1, he registered 4 hits and a shot on goal. Along with linemates Barclay Goodrow (center) and Jimmy Vesey (left wing), they pressured all game keeping the Isles pinned in their own zone on several shifts. That being said, the youngster got a total of seven shifts, with just one early in the third period.

So the question begs to be asked, does a player who doesn’t see the ice late in close games make a playoff lineup?

Related: Rangers final game has everything on the line

Matt Rempe has coach’s confidence

NHL: New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

After highlighting how Rempe does many good things on the ice, including being a very physical presence, Laviolette was asked point blank if he would dress him for the playoffs.

“I do think he’s played in games that are a big, and the outdoor game was one,” Laviolette explained. “I do think he’s ready for playoff games.”

Whether or not Rempe will dress for Game 1 of their opening round series, expected to begin on Sunday, is another question. However, hearing your coach praise you is a confidence booster at any level.

Rempe, 21, has recorded two points (one goal, one assist) in 16 games this season that includes a game-winning tally. Aside from his staggering 69 penalty minutes, he has 48 hits for an average of three hits per game. For a player that plays a little over five minutes a night, that’s an impressive stat. However, not so much for opposing defensemen that have to feel every bit of his 241 pound frame when he crunches them into the boards.

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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