Rangers’ new head coach aiming to be ‘dominant’ this season

New York Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette coaches against the Arizona Coyotes during the third period at Madison Square Garden
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have had a solid start to the regular season with a record of 2-1-0 in three games played. Game four of the season is tonight at 7:00 EST where the Rangers will be taking on the Nashville Predators at home. The Blueshirts will look to continue their elite play and increase their win total to three.

This past offseason, the Rangers chose to fire Gerard Gallant and hire Peter Laviolette as the franchise’s 37th-ever head coach. Whereas Gallant had more of a hands-off approach, Laviolette is implementing a more structured style of coaching with set tactics and plays. He’s looking to help the Rangers move past a disappointing end to last season and create a new era of prosperity in the Blueshirts history.

Laviolette speaks on his goal for the 2023-24 season

The Rangers will be back at home tonight against the Predators. Securing these early victories at Madison Square Garden is essential this season, as the Rangers have very few home games to start the season. Following the home opening win against Arizona, Laviolette spoke about his expectations at home this season.

Per New York Post Sports, Laviolette says that “Just trying to be dominant on a daily basis is the goal,” in regards to valuing the importance of home ice.

This sentiment came following the Rangers’ sole loss to Columbus, a disappointing effort that exploited many of the flaws in the Blueshirts’ lineup. With Laviolette being more of a hands-on coach, he has quickly taken notice of these problems and begun to implement ways to improve.

How Laviolette is working to bring “dominance” to this Rangers team

Laviolette is not the type of man to let poor performances be swept under the rug like Gallant did. In the Rangers’ loss to Columbus, Blake Wheeler found himself benched during the game after not skating well. He also rewards players for their stellar work ethic, such as Will Cuylle earning ice time this season as a rookie.

Practices and training have been greatly intensified since Laviolette took over the bench. Conditioning is at an all-time high, and he is working endlessly to bring the best out of his players.

Being dominant is exactly what the Rangers need to do this season. Not only at home but on the road as well. Mediocracy can only take a team so far, as proven by last year’s playoff run. Dominance is all that should be accepted, and Laviolette will ensure it happens.

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