After beating the Florida Panthers 5-2 on Tuesday, coach Gerard Gallant says the New York Rangers will benefit from the NHL All-Star break.
The Rangers, 16/1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, have played the joint-second most games in the NHL (47), and with 26 of those on the road, Gallant admits the schedule has taken its toll.
With the help of forward Chris Kreider who leads the NHL with 33 goals, New York have produced a 30-13-4 record (15-9-2 on the road) which puts them second in the Metropolitan Division and fifth overall in the NHL.
For 30-year-old Kreider, his goals tally is the best of his ten season New York career, and with 14 assists, he is just six points shy of his career best recorded over 75 games in 2016/17 (28 goals, 25 assists for 53 points).
Kreider will represent the Rangers in the All-Star game to be held in Vegas on 5th February and he will be joined by teammate Adam Fox who will be making his first appearance.
The defenceman leads all blue-liners in the NHL for assists (40) and is joint-first for total points (47). He won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenceman last season.
Gallant, 58, who was hired by the Rangers in June 2021, said about the break: "Personally, I think we need it. We played so many games on the road, played 47 games, second most in the league.
"I don't mind it. The good part about the break is we’re coming back and we've got four great days to practice before we play our first game."