Rangers Recall: Coach and Captain not happy with blowout loss to Hurricanes
There were definitely some scowls on the faces of New York Rangers captain Jacob Trouba and his head coach Peter Laviolette after a poor showing that resulted in a 6-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes at home.
For basically the first 40 minutes, they weren’t sharp or competed enough to beat a red-hot Hurricanes squad that is now just 5 points behind them for first place in the Metro. As for the third period, well that’s where we will begin the first Rangers Recall of 2024.
Rangers Recall: Unhappy captain and coach
One of Laviolette’s key characteristics in his first year as Blueshirts’ head coach has been his even keel temper and patience. That was once again evident in how he summarized what took place in the loss. He credited the team for staying in it and battling in the first period, even cut them some slack for a sloppy middle frame, but sharpened his tongue regarding the final 20 minutes of play.
“If I am going to go after a period, it’s the third,” Laviolette lamented. “I hated it. It’s not who we are or who we want to be.”
Entering the third period, the Rangers were down 3-1, but outshooting Carolina 22-14. However, in that last frame, the Canes trampled over a lethargic team. Carolina buzzed the Blueshirts and scored three more times by outshooting them 13 shots to 7.
New York will hold a practice at 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday at the MSG Training Center. It could be an interesting one.
Over the course of the season, Trouba has been fairly dismissive and usually complimentary of his team’s efforts after a loss. On Tuesday night, it was the first time in a long time, he appeared to voice genuine concern. When the game ended, the Rangers captain didn’t mince words when answering questions about what transpired on Garden ice from the press.
“After we gave up the third one, there wasn’t a lot of grind back,” Trouba said. “It’s not what we want to see on home ice. It’s not what we want to be. There’s no easy games, especially a divisional game at home, there’s no reason for us to show up and play that (kind of) game.”
Trouba, 29, is in his second full season as captain and has registered 2 goals, 13 assists, for 15 points in 36 games to date. The veteran’s 116 blocks leads the team in that category.
All is not gloom and doom, despite the fact the Rangers have a difficult January slate of games, as we detailed here. So far this season, the Rangers have only lost back-to-back games once. After a loss, this group is 9-1-0 after a defeat and have outscored opponents by a wide margin of 33-15 in the process.
“You never want to lose two games in a row,” noted Vincent Trocheck after their last loss to the Panthers. “I thought we played hard (against Tampa) and set the tone early.”
That being said, a trap game is on tap with the lowly Chicago Blackhawks at the Garden on Thursday night. Facing the 31st ranked team in the league should be a cakewalk for a top-tier squad like the Rangers. While that should be true, no opponent can be taken lightly in the NHL, so the Rangers will need to put forth maximum effort to secure two points.
Chicago only has 11 victories on the season, but they’ve beaten notable teams like the Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, and Toronto Maple Leafs (twice). It would be wise for the Rangers to pay attention to those games. This team certainly doesn’t want to look back and regret missing an opportunity to pick up an expected win.