The New York Rangers traded for Jacob Trouba on June 17.2019, and on that day, the New York Rangers began to take on a new identity, as well as a new direction.
You know that feeling of excitement you get in your stomach, before going to a game?
You know, that feeling of anticipation, of hoping to see something awesome or to be amazed?
You know that Pre-Game electrifying Buzz that fills the air, at the bar, in the parking lot while tailgating, or as you walk around the concourse?
Well, that is the feeling I get before every New York Rangers game, that Jacob Trouba plays in.
A True (Ba) Leader
Trouba is a pure leader, plain and simple. He can defend in his own zone and play solid overall D. He Plays with the Patience and Toughness from a bygone era. Calm under pressure, he can make a tape-to-tape pass to a forward on the fly. He can bank it high off the glass or chip it off the boards, and remember, he plays tough in front of his own net. Rather than just dumping out, he will reverse flow to maintain puck possession while looking for a better zone exit option.
He can Shoot. He can Score. He plays on the Power Play. He plays on the Penalty Kill, and this guy can Hit.
Oh boy, can #8 hit.
When I played, I was always taught to keep my head up and to have my head on a swivel. And if there was an opposition player who really liked to hit, well then, I was sure to keep a keen awareness of his location while he was on the ice, always.
That is easier said than done…just ask these guys.
It sure is interesting to see how one hit can change the momentum of a game.
When Trouba delivers a clean hit, he is ready to fight immediately after the hit. He knows the opposition is coming for him, especially after the power of such a hit.
Authors Note: I don’t condone fighting; however, I do believe in sticking up for yourself, especially after a clean hit is delivered. I feel the opposition should get an Instigator Penalty. Or be like football, and line up and lets this again…clean is clean. It is not an insult to be hit, it is simply part of the game.
People underestimate the power of a clean hit.
Authors Note: I do not condone any illegal hits, hits from behind, head shots, or low hits to the knees, etc…these types of hits are not acceptable in this game. Period.
A clean hit, on the other hand, is another story and one I love to tell.
A text book clean hit is when you place your shoulder directly into the chest plate of the opposition, then you drive through ‘em. The outcome of such a hit will make people stand up and take notice. Jacob Trouba does this to perfection most times.
First, it feels great as the athlete delivering the hit, not so much fun for the athlete on the receiving end (I’ve experienced both trust me, getting hit is not fun). It can energize and bring confidence to the athlete for the rest of the game. Just knowing that you delivered such a hit, gives you that confidence to be able to play at a higher level. Trouba brings this element to his game.
Second, a clean hit can energize the rest your team. When the boys on the bench see you laying some smackdown, everyone on the team grows an inch taller and becomes another level tougher, especially on their next shift. In essence, your team just leveled up the “intimidation factor” by a thousand. Trouba brings this element to the Team.
Third, experiencing this type of hit is demoralizing for the player on the receiving end. If he makes it back to the ice on the next shift, his energy level has been decreased substantially by such a hit. Therefore, his effectiveness has been decreased. Mission accomplished #8.
Fourth, it can demoralize the opposition. Those boys on that bench, just saw a teammate of theirs get absolutely wrecked. Human nature thinks, am I next? Now the hit is in their heads.
Fifth, your focus as a player slightly changes knowing that a “Hitter” is out there on this ice. One might not be so bold crossing into the middle of the ice, or one might be a little less aggressive heading into the corners during puck battles. Trouba’s physical game, plays mental tricks on the opposition, so much so, that players may even alter their routes or reduce their level of aggression, simply to avoid #8.
I was at the Rangers vs Jets game in Winnipeg on Monday, October 30.2023. There was no Buzz in the Building. None. Zippo, Nada.
Fact: I think the Jets lost some of their overall Buzz when they traded away #8.
I remember when I was a little kid, and my dad brought me to watch Hull, Hedberg, and Nilsson play for the WHA Winnipeg Jets in 1975. The way they played, the way they passed the puck together as a unit, it was magic. That was my first understanding of what a Buzz in the Building was.
The Jets Playoff White Outs, now that was a Buzz in the Building.
Opening Face-off anticipation at MSG or the crowd’s reaction after a huge save by any of the legendary NYR Goaltenders over the years always brings a Buzz in the Building.
A Trouba Bone Rattlin’ Hit on any opposition player, now that, brings a Buzz in the Building.
8-2-1 = 17pts
1st – in the Metropolitan Division
2nd – in the Eastern Conference
3rd -Tied Overall in NHL
My View from the Cheap Seats
Miller, Fox, Lindgren, Gustafsson, and Schneider all play tough, hard-nosed D. But none of those guys hit with the ferocity of #8. Nobody.
None of the above-listed guys intimidate the opposition when they step on the ice—none of ‘em.
I get it; Trouba does not have the offensive flair or sexy stats of a Fox or a Miller. However, Trouba does bring grit to every game. You never know what might happen the next time Trouba steps on the ice. And neither does he…lol
And that, my friends, is why Touba is the captain and also why he gets paid $8 Million per year until the end of the 2025-26 season.
And folks, that anticipation, that pent-up excitement, is the magic and the Buzz that Trouba brings to MSG and the New Your Rangers.
Quote of the Day:
Buzz Lightyear – Toy Story (Movie)