Whenever Gerard Gallant felt the Rangers offense was beginning to go stale during their home opener against the Stars on Thursday night, the head coach turned to Barclay Goodrow to give the entire lineup a boost.
Published: 2021-10-16 12:25 am
Barclay Goodrow already giving the Rangers a jolt

MONTREAL — Whenever Gerard Gallant felt the Rangers offense was beginning to go stale during their home opener against the Stars on Thursday night, the head coach turned to Barclay Goodrow to give the entire lineup a boost.

By plugging the hard-nosed winger on each line at different junctures of the game, Gallant gave the Rangers a spark that led to an eye-opening second-period rally. After they fell behind 2-0 for the second straight game, the Rangers were seemingly reenergized and evened the score heading into the third period. The game ultimately went to overtime, and the Stars’ Miro Heiskanen scored the game-winner to hand the Rangers a 3-2 loss.

The second-period surge was a glimpse into the Rangers’ capabilities, and Goodrow had a hand in each line’s contribution at one point or another.

Barclay Goodrow
NHLI via Getty Images

“He’s a guy that’s a real dependable forward,” Gallant said of Goodrow, who signed a six-year extension with the Rangers after his acquisition from Tampa Bay in July. “When we got him this summer, you talk to the Tampa Bay Lightning people, and they love him, his character, his work ethic. And he’s a guy that you can put on the ice and you feel real comfortable you’re not going to get scored against. He plays that role pretty good.

“He does simple things that we talk about — cycles the puck down low, resets the puck behind the net in the offensive zone, low-to-high plays. Sometimes, we try and get too cute sometimes, and he’s one of those guys that simplifies things, and the other players follow.”

Gallant bumped Goodrow up to the top line next to Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider a couple of times in the second period, in place of Alexis Lafreniere. Lo and behold, Kreider scored the game-tying tally when Goodrow was on the ice with him. Goodrow also logged time with fourth-liners Kevin Rooney and Ryan Reaves, as well as on the 1B line with Ryan Strome and Kaapo Kakko.

Through training camp and the first two games of the season, Goodrow primarily has played on the left or right wing of the third line, next to center Filip Chytil. True to his checking-winger reputation, Goodrow has helped drive the Rangers’ forecheck and has logged over five minutes of shorthanded ice time. He has also won 6 of 11 faceoffs so far for a 54.55 win percentage.

When Chris Drury traded a 2022 seventh-round pick for Goodrow, the Rangers’ president-general manager said the 28-year-old was a “winner.” Much was made of how Goodrow would be able to share what it takes to win a Stanley Cup, which he did twice in a row with the Lightning.

“I think I was brought here to be a leader,” Goodrow, who has been named as one of the Rangers six assistant captains, said. “I don’t think a letter on the jersey changes much, I’ll still have the same mindset, still play the same game I’ve always played.”

“I think there’s a lot that goes into it. In order to have a winning team, it starts with a winning culture, a winning attitude. The experiences that I’ve gone through, you can kind of relay the message to the other guys of just what you need to be doing at all times. The sacrifices that you make in the short term may not look like things that will amount to much. But if you do get the opportunity to win the championship, you look back at all those little things you’ve done, they’ve been more than worthwhile.”

“There’s little things along the way that just being part of a winning team you can help relay what it takes and the things you need to be doing.”

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