So we all know the template that Gerard Gallant will set up when he steps behind the bench subsequent 12 months as the pinnacle coach of a Rangers crew whose lone id final 12 months was being younger.
“I need us to be the toughest working crew within the league. I need us to compete onerous, to battle onerous, to make groups say, ‘You realize what, that crew works onerous and competes for 60 minutes,’” Gallant mentioned Tuesday morning throughout his introductory press briefing. “We are able to do plenty of good issues. We will be expert, we will be proficient, but when the work doesn’t come first, all of the ability and expertise doesn’t get you too far down the street.
“You begin at 7 o’clock, you begin at 7 o’clock. You’ve received 82 video games to play, you prepare for each one. I wish to make sure that we work onerous each evening and compete each evening.”
There’s ability and there’s expertise, a few of it distinctive. Tampa Bay lengthy had distinctive ability and expertise however didn’t win something till the Lightning grew to become a a lot tougher crew to play in opposition to. They did that by buying gamers with measurement, stiffness and sandpaper.
President-general supervisor Chris Drury shared a break up display along with his coach throughout the digital occasion. It will likely be his duty to remake the Rangers within the picture of groups which have had success within the postseason, not solely this 12 months, however by this period of playoff hockey wherein brawn has change into a minimum of equally necessary as ability.
“It’s onerous to observe these playoffs and never discover the physicality, the vitality, the hassle and the depth it takes to win and succeed,” Drury mentioned. “We’re actually going to wish to play that option to have success within the common season and the playoffs.
“We’re all the time taking a look at methods to enhance the lineup and add totally different items similar to each crew within the league, and each crew within the league is watching these playoffs. All of us need tougher gamers to play in opposition to and we’re no totally different.”
Gallant is 57 years previous. He had success in Florida, taking the woebegone Puddy Tats to the playoffs, after which success in Vegas, taking the first-year Golden Knights to the Cup ultimate. However he was kicked to the curb 22 video games into his third 12 months in Florida after which gone 49 video games into his third season in Vegas.
“I nonetheless have a tough time going again and taking a look at it and saying, ‘Why did I get fired?’” Gallant mentioned. “I feel I did a terrific job for each these organizations [but] issues occur, it’s out of my fingers.
“I come to the rink daily with a smile on my face, I’ve received a terrific job, nice alternatives and you’re employed onerous and do the most effective which you could. If you get fired, I attempt to transfer on as fast as attainable. I’m not going to stay prior to now, I’m going to maneuver ahead and sit up for my subsequent alternative with the Rangers.”
Gallant’s groups play four-line, puck-pressure hockey with emphasis on an aggressive forecheck and neutral-zone forecheck with a defensive posture meant to supply turnovers and set off transition counter-attacks.
“I hate speaking in regards to the previous however once I was in Vegas we went to coaching camp with a plan, put our methods in place and we anticipated everyone to play a 200-foot recreation with everyone good defensively and everyone good offensively,” the coach mentioned. “All people has to have a job in your hockey crew.
“It’s not going to take 15 guys to win, it’s going to take 23 gamers on the roster to win video games each evening. I attempt to make each participant necessary to our hockey crew, everyone has a job to play and the expectation is, ‘Do your position, play your position and we’ll win hockey video games.’”
The Panthers, particularly, had a core of outstanding younger abilities that includes Aleksandar Barkov, Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau. The Rangers are loaded with younger and precocious expertise together with 2020 first-overall Alexis Lafreniere and 2019 second-overall Kaapo Kakko.
“You give [young players] the chance and hopefully they take the chance and ice time they get and excel with it,” Gallant mentioned. “I don’t assume younger gamers can sit on the fourth line and get lots out of that.
“You’ve received to present them the chance to play. We all know we’ve received some very proficient younger hockey gamers who’re going to get each alternative to play however they have to suit into our program. They’ve received to verify they’re taking part in each evening and are deserving of ice time.
“It’s a nice line for coaches,” mentioned the coach. “You wish to develop gamers however you additionally wish to win each evening. That’s the place we’re at proper now so we’re going to attempt to win a hockey recreation and hope that these younger gamers are going to be a part of our crew successful hockey video games each evening.”