Rangers’ Peter Laviolette gets All-Star coaching nod

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS


Peter Laviolette deflected the credit, but the honor is a large testament to the job he’s done his first year in charge. 

The Rangers head coach is one of the four coaches for the All-Star Game at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Feb. 3.

With their teams also atop their respective divisions, the Jets’ Rick Bowness, Bruins’ Jim Montgomery and Canucks’ Rick Tocchet are the other coaches. 

Laviolette immediately in Year 1 has the Rangers right back among the league’s elite, and in first place in the Metropolitan Division.

He will become just the 12th coach in NHL history to appear in four or more All-Star games. 

“It’s more of a reflection of your team and the players and the coaches and my coaching staff and the work they put into it, the training staff, medical staff, our organization,” Laviolette said Tuesday morning before the Rangers’ 5-2 win over the Kraken. “It’s more of an organizational nod that our team is doing well. That’s not just a reflection on me. 

“It’s nice to go there. But for me, I just kind of view it as more that our team had done good things in the first half and because of that, the coach gets selected. But it should be fun.” 


New York Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette
New York Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette will be among the bench bosses at the NHL All-Star Game. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

The early-season dominance Laviolette’s Rangers enjoyed regressed into midseason struggle, providing Laviolette his first real tests and first bit of adversity he had to face in charge.

The Rangers were just 9-9-1 since Dec. 5 entering Tuesday after beginning the season 18-4-1, but have responded to a season-worst four-game losing streak with two straight wins


As Laviolette continues to try to get the bottom-six going, he moved center Jonny Brodzinski onto the third line with Blake Wheeler and Will Cuylle for both Sunday’s win over the Capitals and again Tuesday. 

Wheeler scored twice Tuesday, the first of which came via a deflection of Brodzinski’s shot. 


New York Rangers left wing Will Cuylle #50 along with New York Rangers center Jonny Brodzinski #22 and New York Rangers defenseman Erik Gustafsson #56 wait for the puck to drop during the second period.
New York Rangers left wing Will Cuylle #50 along with New York Rangers center Jonny Brodzinski #22 and New York Rangers defenseman Erik Gustafsson #56 wait for the puck to drop during the second period. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

That line stood out to Laviolette, as well as Brodzinski’s speed. 

“I thought that line was good,” Laviolette said after the game. “I thought that they were noticeable. I thought that was a really nice goal. [Brodzinski] can attack the ice. He’s got that jump to his step where he can push teams back. … I noticed that line, it was Jonny, it was good.” 


Center Tyler Pitlick skated in a regular full-contact jersey Tuesday morning, and Laviolette said he’s been cleared for full contact.

Pitlick didn’t play against the Kraken, though. 

He has not played since Jan. 2 with a lower-body injury.



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