New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant has had a penchant for making quick line adjustments all season.
Monday’s win over Florida showed that Gallant’s latest changes have worked out in a major way.
After the team lost a difficult 3-1 contest to the Boston Bruins last week at home, the Rangers head coach shifted his lines by moving Chris Krieder to the right wing with Artemi Panarin jumping up to the top line. The “Kid Line” was also brought back together with Vincent Troceck working with Jimmy Vesey and Barclay Goodrow.
Even if the head coach won’t acknowledge that they worked out, New York’s offense put up one of their best performances of the season in a 6-2 drubbing of the Panthers.
“I wasn’t overly happy most of the night. We turned a lot of pucks over in the neutral zone in the first two periods. I just didn’t think we played well enough. Our game wasn’t real good.” Gallant said after the game.
Gallant may not be overly happy with the team’s performance but there can be no denying the offensive surge that took place and came from scrappy play in front of the net. Players like Alexis Lafreniere and Jimmy Vesey ended scoring droughts that helped the Rangers pull ahead for good.
“Some guys played really good games. We can be better than that. It wasn’t a great game. We took advantage of our chances and opportunities.” Gallant added.
Every line that was altered by Gallant ended up putting up points in some way Monday night. The Kid Line attributed two goals while the top line of Zibanejad, Panarin, and Kreider led the way in scoring. Even Trocheck’s new linemates got in on the scoring action and got plenty of chances to produce more throughout the win.
When a team doesn’t play particularly well in the eyes of the coaching staff but they still come away with a blowout win, it’s usually a sign of how talented the team is. There has never been anyone denying how good the Rangers can be throughout this season, but as the trade deadline draws nearer, Gallant’s line changes set the team up to be flexible as we hit the halfway point of the season.