Daily Faceoff Live: What is the temperature of Gerard Gallant’s headquarters in New York?

Mike McKenna and Frank Seravalli spoke about the New York Rangers’ struggles this season and what can be done about them in the latest episode of Daily face-to-face live.

Frank Seravalli: You want to talk about energy, how about some negative energy with the New York Rangers and an absolutely dreadful weekend they had. You think back to their game against the Ottawa Senators, losing a late lead. They’re in a position where, especially after losing to the Blackhawks on Saturday, they have just 11 wins to show for their 26-game season, 11-10-5.

It’s been really hard to figure out this Rangers team that still haven’t quite made it and I’m asking you Mike, Gerard Gallant, should the seat be hot or hot? What temperature would you put it at?

Mike McKenna: Well, I think it sure is hot. This is a club that is underperforming compared to what is expected of the New York Rangers. Is it simply because Gérard Gallant has been unwavering in his lines, or is it simply because the players are not motivated enough?

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It’s really hard for coaches in today’s game to motivate players and make them work. Now, I think it’s a problem that Jimmy Vesey is playing on your top line. The right side was kind of a hole for Rangers, they couldn’t find a solution. I would like to see Kreider take a spot on the right side and put Lafrenière higher in the left roster. But when a team gets just six shots on goal in the third period against Chicago when you had the lead earlier in the game, what’s going on here?

I keep seeing this where, well, we didn’t end the game well, we didn’t start the game well, what is it? Is it just blowing up leads, to me it’s just a team that’s not cohesive at all. You saw Jacob Trouba freaking out after being kicked out of the game last night. He fights after tying Andreas Athanasiou of the Chicago Blackhawks. Trouba comes off the ice, throws his helmet off, gives the big WTF to his whole bench like wake up here guys.

He tries to lead but this team has to react, Frank. There has not been enough courage, enough intensity from this club and I think it starts with Artemi Panarin. He needs to be more direct and start playing the game by going towards the cage.

Frank Seravalli: How much do you think it builds on what they achieved last season? Coming to the bottom four brings you back a lot of the same team. They are in a position with young players who they have asked to do great things. Instead of continuing to progress as many people thought. You know, progression and development in this league is not a simple line. It’s not a straight line and sometimes you’re going to have some of these peaks and valleys.

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They’re in a position now where you look at the standings, they’re 11th in the Eastern Conference in point percentage. They are actually below the Montreal Canadiens who many people thought were in contention for the lottery draft spot at this point in the season. So how do the Rangers do it?

Mike McKenna: You’re right, some of the talents you expected to step up from, whether it’s Kakko, Lafrenière, Miller, even Filip Chytil, aren’t quite there yet. How do you get past that? You are part of working teams and at the moment you haven’t seen that and you need elite goalkeepers. Shesterkin has looked human this year. It was good, it was not absolutely exceptional like last year. I think he masked a lot of the defensive lapses Rangers had before.

You can watch the rest of the episode here…

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