How can the Rangers get their defense back on track?

New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) plays the puck against Toronto Maple Leafs center Noah Gregor (18) during the first period at Madison Square Garden
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have taken a quick 180-degree turn in their defensive end. Somehow, the Blueshirts managed to go from one of the best defensive teams in the NHL to one of the worst.

After allowing 18 goals across their last four games, it’s clear that this problem is not close to being fixed. The Rangers need to get to the root of the issue quickly, or teams will continue to steamroll the Blueshirts and put an end to the perfect season that has led up to this point.

Laviolette needs to work the Rangers harder during practice

When Peter Laviolette was first hired as head coach this past offseason, he immediately began to implement a new defensive-minded system. Prioritizing the play in their own zone was working perfectly to start the year, but something has caused the defense to crumble.

Laviolette has been known to work the Rangers extra hard during practices. Each drill is designed to enhance specific skill sets in the players, as that too has significantly bolstered many of their abilities. But now with the defense in shambles, it’s time for Laviolette to crank up the intensity even more.

These defensive issues being seen recently are fixable. It mainly consists of poor decision-making, bad passing, and sloppy turnovers. With more focus on the defense during practice, the Rangers could easily overcome this stretch of bad play and get right back on track.

Trouba needs to step up as the Captain

Jacob Trouba has had a solid year in his second season as the Rangers’ Captain. He’s proven to be the right choice for the role, but even he has been struggling as of late.

As Captain, it’s imperative that Trouba gets a hold of his team and sets them straight. He’s a leader that the players look up to, and he’s a solid member of the Rangers’ defensive corps. If anyone on the ice has the ability to set new standards and improve the mentality and effort of the defense, the Captain is the first place to look.

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