Sometimes all a team needs to succeed is a little bit of puck luck and an impromptu comeback. For the New York Rangers, after a month of unlucky bounces and frustrating play, the results finally flipped.
After trailing 2-0 in a lackluster first period against the Los Angeles Kings, the team responded with a three-goal second and two-goal third to complete the first comeback win of the 2022-23 season.
“I thought the first period was slow but after that, we played pretty well. Obviously, the first goal was huge to get back in the hockey game.” head coach Gerard Gallant told reporters after the game.
New York continued to get surprise offensive help from unlikely characters. Braden Schneider, the second-year defenseman out of Saskatchewan got the scoring started in the second period, which then catapulted to a three-goal period.
“They work hard and get rewarded. They play their roles really well. It’s back-to-back games where I’m really excited with how we played.” Gallant added.
Vincent Trocheck and Kaapo Kakko would score later in the period as well. Part of the Rangers’ key to winning Tuesday night came on the backs of the kid line. Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil, and Kakko tallied five points in the win.
So have the Rangers turned the corner? In the end, it comes down to execution. New York has yet to play a full hockey game this season but has shown spurts of the team that was considered a Stanley Cup contender.
New York has received some excellent help for bottom-six players like Schneider, Julien Gauthier, and Jimmy Vesey. It’s the stars that need to show out consistently though. Chris Kreider scored twice in Tuesday’s win, with every goal coming out at even strength.
The Rangers have lacked success in five-on-five action but Tuesday was an important step in changing that conundrum.
Consistency will be the next major barometer to match for a young team with championship aspirations. If New York has truly turned the corner in their play, the next step would be a prolonged winning streak from solid hockey.