Despite having a loaded roster, fans were curious about what to expect from Peter Laviolette’s system. The answer is pace and lots of it.
Training Camp has kicked off in Tarrytown for the New York Rangers. Newly named head coach Peter Laviolette has been conditioning his players and is already making them play at such a high pace. If you ask him, that is all part of his system.
With the team opening up preseason play on Sunday in Boston, Laviolette is willing to try everything to land on four quality offensive lines and three shutdown defensive pairs. From players starting on off-wings to a new offence-heavy top pair, all we have to do is just wait and see the product that is the new look Blueshirts. Here are just a few takeaways from Laviolette’s inaugural Rangers Training Camp.
A Fresh Look At Peter Laviolette’s System
“Early to bed, early to rise” might be the new mantra for the 2023-24 New York Rangers. Laviolette and company are starting their sessions at 8 a.m., which is a change in scenery for both players and the media. The new coach already loves his new commute, as he had nothing but praise for the beautiful sunrise he gets to see every morning via Hutchinson Parkway.
“The purpose of training camp is to establish your identity, it’s to work on it, it’s to gain confidence with what you’re doing on the ice.”
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) September 20, 2023
When Laviolette spoke to the media this past Wednesday, he said that he would tell his players the same thing every morning. “Come in and try to show your greatness.” We all knew that Laviolette was a motivator from his past tenures, but this is something that this current Rangers squad desperately needs. Last season alone was seen as a failure after falling to the New Jersey Devils in seven games in the first round. Now, with the right words, Laviolette can find each of his players’ passion, grit, and readiness by the start of the upcoming season.
An “In-Your-Face” Style of Hockey
The major focal point of Laviolette’s first two pressers has been the curiosity of his system. And rightly so, as with a new head coach comes questions regarding how he expects his players to play every night. The former Ranger jokingly asked if every head coach “puts their system in the New York Post” but focused on two key attributes: speed and pace.
Peter Laviolette’s system is in-your-face hockey while going as fast as possible. The Rangers have players like Chris Kreider, Alexis Lafrenière, and K’Andre Miller who showcase their speed and strength simultaneously. These are just three of the names that will benefit greatly from Laviolette’s style of play.
Another concept that I have noticed from Laviolette’s system is his ability to get to know people. The hockey world is currently being occupied by drama within another organization, so it’s important to state that Laviolette is getting to know his players and staff the right way.
In his Wednesday presser, he mentioned that he has been having frequent meetings with captain Jacob Trouba. He also stated that he had already gone to dinner with goaltending coach Benoit Allaire, one of the few staff members who stayed on after the firing of Gerard Gallant. Laviolette is doing this the right way, with no intention of messing things up. He sees the potential with this roster, as have the fans for countless years.
Sticking To What Got You Here
One final takeaway from Peter Laviolette’s system is that he is truly sticking with his original plan. A question on everyone’s mind was on what line would we find Alexis Lafrenière on. What Laviolette can tell you is that the former first-overall pick will be getting reps at RW, his off-wing.
A new chapter starts now. ? pic.twitter.com/mCFjDvBUeU
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) September 21, 2023
Lafreniere is stronger playing on his left side. However, the young forward was open to the idea and started Training Camp on top RW slot on a line with Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad.
Maybe this is what these young players need: someone who believes in them. If Laviolette believes that Lafrenière can be just as effective on the right compared to the left, then that is fine with me. Sometimes in our lives, we need that extra motivation. We need that one person to say, “I believe in you” or “You can do it!” Peter Laviolette’s system could just be what this roster has been longing for. At the end of the day, hockey players are people, too.
Main Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports