It’s been five years with no playoffs, but the New York Rangers are headed to the postseason. They did it with a convincing 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden. It was big night for the Blueshirts with Chris Kreider on the brink of scoring 50 goals and Artemi Panarin leading the way offensively. Oh yes, it was another rock solid defensive effort as they held the Senators to only 22 shots.
Gerard Gallant summed up the game perfectly. “From start to finish it was an excellent game. I liked everything about it. We created a lot of scoring chances. We shot the puck. Kreids got a couple beautiful goals. It was a great night. Shesty looked really sharp. I just thought we came out ready to play.”
When asked about making the playoffs Gallant said the team wanted to win. “We came to to the rink wanting to win and get in the playoffs and that’s what we done.”
Chris Kreider focused on the team and not his individual effort. “Our primary goal from the beginning of the season was to make the playoffs. We’ve taken that first step. We’ve got nine games left. We’ve got to continue to work on our game, play the right way.”
Ryan Strome noted that Gallant’s coaching style and philosophy of maintaining an even temperament has been adopted by the team. “We’ve been focused every day. We’ve come to the rink and we’ve just focused on the next game. I don’t think we’ve dwelled on bad performances or been too high on good performances. We try to come with the same mindset. From the top down that’s what Turk (Gallant) does every day and it rubs off on us. We’ve just been focused every day on getting better.”
When this season is over, no matter how far the Rangers can go in the playoffs, we will look back and bless the day that Chris Drury hired Gerard Gallant. All season long he has been on message and it’s been amazing to see how he has transformed this team into one of the best in the NHL.