How Will the New York Rangers Respond to Adversity?

Jim Bay
New York Rangers
Feb 14, 2020; Columbus, Ohio, USA; New York Rangers center Ryan Strome (16) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The last couple of weeks have seen a lot of ups and downs for the New York Rangers. They started with a three-game losing streak, then hit the peak of elation after beating one of the best teams in the NHL, before losing to a rival with less talent.  So the big question is, how will these young Blueshirts react to this bump on the road as they face three opponents away from home?

Post-game reactions from the New York Rangers

We can get a little from the post-game reaction from players and coaches. Last Saturday night was also the first night in which the media were not allowed to go into the locker room. Players and coaches were now made available in a separate room, at either a table or podium, much like what you will see in a couple of weeks when the NCAA tournaments begin.  As expected, coach David Quinn was mad. Really mad. It may not have shown too much as his comments were measured, but you could see it in his face. The quote that really summed it up was: “There really isn’t much to talk about. They were better than us in every capacity. Want is a very, very important characteristic of this sport. We played a team that wanted it much, much more than we did.” Mika Zibanejad was a little more analytical when he said that “We made it really easy for them and we just didn’t have an answer. We dug ourselves a hole. Going forward, with the playoff-type of games we have in front of us, we just can’t do that.” The final bit of information post-game came from Igor Shesterkin, who was pulled after the second period after allowing five goals. This was the first game back in thirteen days as the young goalie was recovering from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. The rust of not playing in this time showed, and Shesterkin knew it.
“I felt good. It was just hard to get back into the game.” However, the look he showed on his face post-game was enough to convince most that this would be a one-time thing.

What was the New York Ranger’s mindset at Monday’s practice?

Having a day to get rid of that bad taste in their mouth, the Rangers were back at practice and focused on the task at hand. David Quinn was a little more analytical after Monday’s practice, especially when it concerns his defense. “From Jan. 7 through that Montreal game, we were second in the league in goals per game and we were fifth in the league in goals-against. We had the 2nd most wins in the league but it was all stemming from playing good defense.” Strong defense has been lacking in the last five games. The players’ mindset appears to be good. Mika Zibanejad stepped up to the podium and said: “We’ve just got to remember what made us successful over the last two months and keep it going.” Wise words to play by as the Rangers face three critical road contests.