Gerard Gallant is the X-Factor for the Rangers success

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Gerard Gallant of the New York Rangers handles bench duties against the New York Islanders in a preseason game at Madison Square Garden on September 26, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Gerard Gallant of the New York Rangers handles bench duties against the New York Islanders in a preseason game at Madison Square Garden on September 26, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The New York Rangers are enjoying a hot start to the 2021-2022 season. They sit at second place in the Metropolitan Divison with a record of 16-4-3 and 35 points on the season.

After a few years of rebuilding, the Rangers finally seem to be back in the thick of things and are a contender again. The team is full of talent from top to bottom, including the reigning Norris Trophy in Adam Fox and early Vezina Trophy candidate in Igor Shesterkin. But the main reason why the Blueshirts have been successful is their head coach. Gerard Gallant.

Having his players play at their maximum potential

Gerard Gallant is bringing the most out of his players. Forwards Chris Kreider and Julien Gauthier are two prime examples of Gallant maximizing his talent.

Kreider is having a career year so far, with 19 points in 23 games, including 16 goals, with 9 of them scored with the man advantage. His 16 goals are tied for fourth-most in the entire NHL with the likes of Connor McDavid. This is the Chris Kreider that Ranger fans have been waiting for. And he has finally arrived.

Gerard Gallant uses Kreider as the dominant force in front of the net. Although that has always been Kreider’s sweet spot, no other Rangers coach except for Gallant knows how to take advantage of the thirty-year-old’s skill set. Kreider’s game is more straightforward, quicker, and more confident, thanks to Gallant.

Julien Gauthier was a former first-round draft pick of the Carolina Hurricanes back in 2016. Fast forward to 2019-2020, he was traded to the Rangers for defenseman Joey Keane. While Keane is still in the depths of the AHL, Gauthier seems to be getting his career going. He is getting better night in and night out, and his efforts are starting to show up statistically.

During the Black Friday showdown against Boston, Gauthier tallied a couple of critical assists that helped the Rangers to defeat the Bruins.

Gerard Gallant has a player that many thought would be a bust starting to play with potential. It just goes to show how critical a head coach is in this league.

Finding ways to win

The significant difference between this year’s Blueshirts and years past is how the Rangers find ways to win games. They are 7-1-3 in one-goal games and are maturing into a complete team. Gerard Gallant is the main reason for the team’s growth. Without him, the Blueshirts would be in a pit of mediocrity. With him, they are playoff contenders.

Great teams find ways to win. Bad teams find ways to lose, a mantra as old as sports itself. No matter the circumstances, New York is finding ways to win hockey games. It does not matter how a team does it because all that matters is what is recorded in the standings. And the Rangers are starting to add in the win column.

The verdict

Gerard Gallant is one of the best coaches in all sports. His work with the New York Rangers has been extraordinary thus far, and Rangerstown should be excited for what’s in store for their team.

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