Rangers Recall: Determination after a loss reaches 10-1-0

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at New York Rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Every team in the NHL talks about identity. In hockey terms, that’s who they are as a team, which is defined by how they play. For the 2023-24 New York Rangers, it’s also about how they respond to a loss.

By beating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Thursday night at the Garden, the Blueshirts improved to 10-1-0 after a defeat. They’ve also done it in convincing fashion by outscoring their opponents 37 to 18. What’s been very eye-catching is how they respond defensively. Incredibly, of their 10 post-loss victories, the Rangers have allowed 1 goal or less 7 times, which included their latest triumph.

“The things we had talked about and gone over (after losing to Carolina), they were receptive to it,” coach Peter Laviolette stated after beating Chicago. “The energy was good. Making those small corrections was noticeable tonight.”

Let’s look at some key takeaways from Thursday.

Related: Rangers beat Hawks 4-1

Rangers Recall: Don’t call it a comeback

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at New York Rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Trocheck

When it comes to responding to a loss, second-year Ranger, Vincent Trocheck seems to always come up big. In the Rangers last two bounce back victories, he’s scored 1 goal and 6 assists for 7 points (12/30 TBL, 1/4 CHI).

“We wanted to focus and check some boxes,” Trocheck said. “Last game (against Carolina), whether you’re down or up a couple, you have to play a full 60 minutes. Any team can comeback in this league, so you’ve got to close things out.”

That’s exactly what the Rangers did to Chicago in the third period, by scoring twice and then shutting them down the rest of the way to avoid a consecutive loss.

Trocheck, 30, is now reaching point-a-game production. After last night’s 3 assist performance, he’s registered 9 goals, 27 assists, for 36 points in 37 matches.

Artemi Panarin

Prior to the game, Igor Shesterkin was named the Rangers representative for the 2024 NHL All-Star Game in Toronto. That left many fans shrugging their shoulders wondering if Artemi Panarin had been snubbed.

After the game concluded, Panarin explained why he’s not going to participate this season, and it’s because his second child is on the way.

“Hi Rangers Fans,” his message began. “Sadly, I can’t go to the All-Star Game this year – my wife and I are expecting our second baby and I can’t wait for this moment.”

This is wonderful news for the Panarin family, and will also give the Rangers MVP some time away from the rink in preparation for the stretch run.

Panarin, 32, upped his season totals to 53 points in 37 games after scoring a goal and an assist against the Hawks.

Brennan Othmann

Also of note was the debut of 2021 first-round draft pick Brennan Othmann, who went scoreless in the contest. However, he did register 5 shots and 3 hits in 12:26 of ice time.

Throughout the game, the now 21 year-old (today is his birthday) was active and pushing every shift. Despite not scoring, albeit he came close several times to either a goal or an assist, he was recognized by his head coach.

“I noticed him all night,” Laviolette remarked. “His speed, his skill, and his ability to create. He probably had at least a half dozen attempts at the net, and some good scoring chances. He played a good game.”

As for Othmann, who has been anticipating playing his first NHL game for a long time, he was all smiles afterwards.

“The boys made me feel welcome all day,” Othmann said. “I worked 20 years for this and it’s a good early birthday present for tomorrow. To be able to get two points is definitely good as well.”

With forward Tyler Pitlick out week-to-week with a lower-body injury, Othmann is likely to get an extended look. The team will now travel to Montreal to play the Canadiens on Saturday night, where he’ll get another chance to record his first point.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore