Rangers get back Goodrow and Hunt, and Gallant not surprised about team’s success

The New York Rangers announced that forward Barclay Goodrow has cleared COVID protocol as he returned to practice today. In addition, Dryden Hunt has come off injured reserve after suffering an upper-body issue against the Golden Knights on January 6.

“They should be fine,” Gallant said of their availability for tomorrow against the Maple Leafs. “(Goodrow) is out of protocol. They both skated today, so I don’t see any issue with them.”

Goodrow, 28, has 17 points in 36 games this season.

New York Rangers get back Goodrow and Hunt

As for what lines they will be playing on, the head coach was non-committal and even alluded to some mixing and matching.

The fate of Morgan Barron, Tim Gettinger, and Jonny Brodzinski remains to be seen but it sounded like Gallant will ride the horses that got him here.

“They’re tough (lineup) decisions, but they’re common sense decisions,” Gallant admitted. “I know my team. We’ve been together almost 40 games now, so if those guys are ready to come in, they are going to play.”

Goodrow was on line with Hunt and Gauthier today which is what we should see tomorrow.

Brodzinski did practice in Ryan Strome’s place, who once again missed practice.

“No, no. He’ll be ready to go tomorrow,” Gallant said of Strome. “Another maintenance day. I’d obviously like to see him skate today but he’s ready to go.”

Gallant not surprised at Rangers success

gerard gallant rangers
Dec 8, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant reacts during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers will be facing off against Toronto at home tomorrow and Carolina on the road Friday. Both teams are in playoff spots and came into the season as Stanley Cup contenders.

“I don’t worry about the rest of the league. I worry about where our team is and happy we are,” Gallant said of his squad. “We’ve got 8 games until the break and we’re in first place in our division — a real good division.”

A follow up question was asked regarding the next two games as a measuring stick for the team.

“They’re all a test. There’s good teams coming up,” Gallant answered putting no emphasis on the opponents. “Two points against Carolina or two points against teams at the bottom it doesn’t matter. If you’re not prepared to play you’re going to lose.”

New York has surprised just about every expert covering the NHL. Coming into the season, many were wondering if the team could compete for a wild card spot. However, they are in the running for the best record in the league.

“I’m not surprised at all,” Gallant said assuredly. “Do I look at other teams and say they’re real good hockey team — yeah,” I knew we had a good team and good goaltending. I like what we’re doing and I’m not surprised.”

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