Gerard Gallant wasn’t worried about Rangers’ limited training time

The NHL’s tight schedule has drastically reduced team practice times. That may have cramped some coaches’ style, but not Gerard Gallant’s.

“As a coach, I want a well-rested hockey team,” Rangers head coach Gallant said after a 25-minute formal session on the ice before their Thursday game with the Islanders. “Probably our longest exercises were 40 minutes.

“If you have time for a good workout you do, but days like today are more about recovery, about some exercise just to get the jump and get them going again.

“I’m happy with the way the season went, my way of training and my coaching style. Your biggest concern is not getting enough work with the Special Teams, but we found a way to do that when we need it.

“I was satisfied with the training time.”

Artemi Panarin during Rangers training.
Artemi Panarin during Rangers training.
New York Rangers

The depth created by general manager Chris Drury’s timely acquisitions of Frank Vatrano, Andrew Copp, Tyler Motte (now injured) and Justin Braun has solidified the roster. It also allows for training sessions with as many players as is normally the case in the last week of the training camp.

Let’s put it this way: it’s not often that a regular season training session includes a fifth row with players wearing orange jerseys. As a result, there are several healthy scratches in every game.

Defender Libor Hajek has not played since March 12. Julien Gauthier has played once since March 15. Greg McKegg, a winter fixture, has played twice since March 20.

“It is what it is, but I’m glad I have the 27 guys now,” Gallant said. “I spoke to you again [the media] about this two weeks ago and I was talking to you when it happened.

“I mean some guys aren’t overly excited because they don’t play that much, but they understand. They are good professionals. It’s about working for our team. We don’t work for individual things.”

The Blueshirts will attempt to tie the franchise’s record of four straight shutouts, set 94 years ago between 1927 and 1928. Lorne Chabot scored the quadruple zeros in the net on February 23–28, 1928 while keeping the opponent scoreless by 297:42.

Rangers, who scored two consecutive shutouts by Igor Shesterkin against Detroit and Winnipeg after Alexandar Georgiev shut out the Flyers last Thursday, kept their opponents off the board for the final 180-06.

Georgiev is all but certain of starting either Thursday on the island or Saturday afternoon in Boston before the Garden face off against the Hurricanes and Canadiens back-to-back next Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. Gerard Gallant wasn’t worried about Rangers’ limited training time


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