Trocheck Unfazed by Playing Former Team Once Again

The 30-year-old center will play against a former team of his for the 2nd time in his career after a 3 year stint with the Carolina Hurricanes
New York Islanders v New York Rangers
New York Islanders v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

As the New York Rangers get set for what may be the biggest marquee matchup in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs, one player isn't too worried about any struggles, especially when it comes to playing his former team.

Vincent Trocheck, the Rangers' 30 year old underrated center, will face the team he played for from 2019/20 to just last season. In those 3 years in Raleigh, Trocheck compiled 135 games, with 39 goals and 57 assists for 96 points, numbers he's already eclipsed in just two years with the Rangers from last season to this. His MSG totals are 164 games, with 47 goals and 94 assists for 141 points. Quite impressive, given Trocheck's age and how quickly he did it compared to his previous outing. And this is Trocheck's 3rd career stop, after he spent the first 7 years of his 11 year NHL career with the Florida Panthers (420 games, 111 goals, 171 points for 282 assists). As a member of the Rangers, Trocheck now has quite a few games against both Florida and Carolina under his belt.

Trocheck looks to contribute well to a Rangers team that may need to pull out all the stops when this 2nd round series gets underway at MSG on Sunday. They do have the first two games at the World's Most Famous Arena, but then again, both them and the Hurricanes are no slouch in a lot of departments, offensively and defensively. The Rangers have the 4th best power play percentage among this season's playoff field, while Carolina is 7th, albeit tied with Dallas. They also possess better goals scored vs. goals allowed record, 15-7, to Carolina's 19-12. And although that does put New York at a disadvantage percentage-wise for that stat, they edge the Hurricanes in most other major statistical categories, like their goals against average (1.75 vs 2.40), thanks to the always stellar goaltending by Igor Shesterkin.

Carolina's one major advantage that may give them a leg up in this predicted 7 game series, maybe 6 if something big happens, is how much they've shot the puck. In their Islanders series, 59% of shot attempts reached the Isles' net, while in the Rangers' 4 game sweep of Washington, 48% of shots reached the Capitals cage. Carolina, in the playoff overall, has taken 27 shots to New York's 25, so if there's one thing that could potentially doom the Rangers in this series, it's how aggressive Carolina is with their shooting. But you could expect that from a team that lost a hotly contested 7 games series in 2021/22 on their home ice in embarrassing fashion, a 6-2 shelling from New York.

Game 1 of the Canes-Rangers series is set for Sunday, May 5, at 4 p.m. Eastern time at Madison Square Garden. The remainder of the series is yet to be determined, but Game 2 will also be at MSG since the President's Trophy winners gain home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.