/Barclay Goodrow remains ‘confident’ Rangers can topple former Lightning team

Barclay Goodrow remains ‘confident’ Rangers can topple former Lightning team

TAMPA, Fla. — As you may have heard, Barclay Goodrow has some experience with the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Goodrow has said there is nothing special about playing his old team and that it makes no difference who you play in the playoffs. Obviously, there is no one in the Rangers’ camp with more insight into what makes the Lightning so good, so resilient, so hard to beat over a seven-game series that no one has done it since before the pandemic. 

“Obviously, they’ve been there,” Goodrow said. “They know kinda what they need to do to win a game, to close out a series. But honestly, we’re completely confident in our group. We feel if we play our best, then we like our chances. And it’s regardless of what [Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy’s] numbers say or what their team numbers are, it comes down to us playing our game and us executing to the best of our abilities and having a good time doing it.” 

Barclay Goodrow skates with the puck.
Barclay Goodrow skates with the puck.
USA TODAY Sports

There is a massive difference, though, in Tampa Bay’s experience. Winning 10 straight playoff series gives you a set of scenarios that making it through two rounds, as the Rangers have, simply cannot. The Lightning have won with their backs against the wall, as recently as this year’s first round against Toronto. 

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This would be the first time in their current run that they’ve overcome a 2-0 deficit in a series, but there is no one who thought of that as impossible even before they won three straight to come within a game of ending the Rangers’ season. 

The Rangers said all the right things on Friday afternoon about continuing to have fun in the playoffs despite the situation in which they find themselves. With the Lightning, though, there’s no need to ask the question. Of course they know the right mentality for the conference finals — which they have won two years running. 

“I think it’s probably a big component of anyone’s success. If you’re not having fun in what you’re doing, there’s no point in doing it,” Goodrow said. “We all love this game. We love competing. Everyone knows to get to the finals, to be one of the final three teams playing, it’s not easy. There’s obviously a ton of good teams in the league, a ton of competition and getting to this point, it’s a lot of fun. 

“It’s winning each series, winning each game in the series, going through the ups and downs of a series, kinda riding the wave. It’s great and it’s something when you are eventually able to make it over the top, you look back at all those past experiences and it kinda helped form you into the team you are.” 

The Rangers are still trying to become that finished product. And the problem might just be that they’re going up against a team that reached that stage two years ago.