#3: Derek Stepan’s Bench Tirade on December 27th vs. Ottawa
December was a month of ups and downs for the Rangers. There were stretches where they looked like they were ready to compete for a Stanley Cup. Then there were stretches like the one that led up to December 27th’s game against the Ottawa Senators.
The Rangers had dropped their previous two games by a score of 7-2 and 7-4, with the latter of the two coming at home against the Minnesota Wild.
The Senators were in town and quickly went up by two goals. That’s when Derek Stepan went to the bench and began to scream at his teammates in an attempt to wake them up.
Whatever Stepan did must have worked for both his teammates and himself. The Rangers fired back to win the game 4-3, with two goals coming from Stepan himself.
The Rangers would close out 2016 with two more wins after this game. This moment stood out as one where the Rangers really overcame their midseason drought. Stepan established himself as a real leader here and it would show from there on out.