Amazing change can be in practice
TAMPA BAY – Inside the coach’s office as Gerard Gallant and his staff struggle to lead the New York Rangers into a playoff game, there has been an ongoing debate.
Should they keep things the same to show that their team is not afraid? Or would you change to help them more?
“That’s a good line,” Gallant said following a Saturday morning game at the Amalie Arena. “Obviously, we’ve talked about maybe a little change of line and see where it goes from there. But we’ve done this all along, so it’s not a big deal.”
There’s no big deal – unless you consider these options it could be the difference between the incredible speed coming to an end or the final push of the Eastern Conference for Game 7.
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But despite Gallant’s move to Game 6 against Tampa Bay Lightning, which kicks off shortly after 8pm on Saturday, his team does not see any change in his schedule.
“He’s rested,” Tyler Motte player said. “He knows how to manage the team. Apparently, he expects a lot from us. It’s all things we can control – our work ethic, our mind – and it gives guys the confidence to just play the game. If we are careful with some of the simple things we can control, allows us to play our games. “
Gallant made a slight change in Game 5, putting Kevin Rooney in favor of former Ryan Reaves, who was hit for the first time in the playoffs in an attempt to increase the momentum on the line. But there seems to be something more important in these 6 successful games.
“We’ll see what happens tonight,” the teacher said sarcastically.
Interestingly, Kaapo Kakko was one of the last players to leave the Amalie Arena on Saturday morning. Expectations are often too late to find additional employment, with the 21-year-old among them.
He only had a time of 10:33 on ice Thursday, as Gallant has significantly reduced the use of Kid Line – which also features Alexis Lafrenière and Filip Chytil – in recent games. Kakko did not get along very well with the trio, has five points (two goals and three assists) in 19 playoff games, and looks set to make a surprise move in Game 6.
What more could a Gallant have?
Moving Artemi Panarin to the top line is one idea.
The winner has found it difficult to improve on long-term performance, with only seven strong points in 19 games. by trying five shots (three shots on goal) while making three targets and two rebounds. , according to the Natural Stat Trick.
He looked like he did every day – and Ranger was able to use that Saturday.
“Every night he hears,” Andrew Copp said of Panarin. “While the puck is on his staff, something special can happen. Obviously the game has been extensively researched, (but) you still see his acting skills and make room for him and his teammates. I think there is a day when I go, ‘Bread doesn’t feel good today.’ He ‘s gifted, and he knows he is, too. He’ s a big part of our success so far and will continue to do so. “
If Gallant chooses to go against this and keep Panarin in his place with Copp and Ryan Strome, another way to look is to move Chytil or Lafrenière to the top line to play with Chris Kreider et Mika Zibanejad. He has spent a lot of time this season, Chytil played a long time in the second round against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The current top line-up of Kreider, Zibanejad and Frank Vatrano have secured just seven chances to score in the first five games, while Lightning coach Jon Cooper compared them to his three defensive back Anthony Cirelli, Brandon Hagel and Alex. Killorn.
“As a line, we have been talking a lot about getting our game,” Zibanejad said on Friday. “In the end, we have to be five good ones. We have to be able to make a lot of chances. That was the subject of everything we were talking about. Speaking on our line, we already are… (Jordan) Staal line. But it’s a new game (Saturday). It’s a new opportunity. “
Cirelli’s line-up could be as strong as Steven Stamkos’ replacement for Hagel, which would be the case if No. 1 Center Brayden Point has returned from his lower back injury. He has not played since May 14, but Cooper left the open door for Game 6.
It is important to note, however, that Point sat on ice much later than most Tampa players on Saturday morning, which is a sign that the player will be kicked.
Gallant seemed to have that doubt.
“If they are healthy, they are a big part of their team,” Gallant said. “He could be their best player in the world, in my opinion. He plays two hockey games and is a good player. But he has to be healthy. That makes a big difference. He has never played. About a month. … Then we’ll see if he plays tonight. There is nothing we can do. We have to worry about our game. “
For Rangers, that means finding ways to make up for the frustration.
Getting a chance to play strong can help – just add three in the last two games – but they have to do well, having scored just once in the last three competitions.
Whether a few clever tweaks have contributed to this is a decision Gallant may have to contend with in the heat. But the players are responsible for changing everything they do.
“Either way, it’s a decisive game,” Copp said. “I don’t think we can worry about this. I’ve been on both sides very closely, and it could be good. “It’s just a matter of our emotions and our frustrations and the way we play well.”
NY Rangers show line: Game 6 at TB Lightning
When: Saturday, June 11 at 8pm
Onde: Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, Fla.
TV / Radio: ESPN / 98.7 FM
first line → Artemi Panarin (LW) • Mika Zibanejad (C) • Chris Kreider (RW)
second line → Alexis Lafrenière (LW) • Ryan Strome (C) • Andrew Copp (RW)
third line → Barclay Goodrow (LW) • Filip Chytil (C) • Frank Vatrano (RW)
Fourth line → Tyler Motte (LW) • Kevin Rooney (C) • Dryden Hunt (RW)
top two → K’Andre Miller (L) • Jacob Trouba (R)
two pairs → Ryan Lindgren (L) • Adam Fox (R)
two pairs → Justin Braun (L) • Braden Schneider (R)
first → Igor Shesterkin
Recovery backups → Alexander Georgiev
Healthy Whipping: F Jonny Brodzinski, F Julien Gauthier, D Libor Hajek, F Kaapo Kakko, F Greg McKegg, D Patrik Nemeth and F Ryan Reaves
Outstanding: F Sammy Blais (right ACL)
NOTE: This list is subject to change
Vincent Z. Mercogliano is a New York Rangers correspondent for the USA TODAY Network. Read more about his work lohud.com/sports/rangers/ and follow him on Twitter @vzmercogliano.