As he left the ice after his fight with Jonathan Toews late in the second period Saturday night, Jacob Trouba ripped the helmet off his head and threw it against the boards in frustration.
The Rangers were trailing 3-0 on the way to a shocking 5-2 loss to Chicago, which came in riding an eight-game losing streak (0-7-1), and the Rangers’ captain felt the need to do . . . something.
Trouba had fought twice in the game, and three times in back-to-back games, having battled Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk on Friday. He threw his body around all weekend, hitting opposing players — hard — at every opportunity.
“I think we could use a little bit more emotion, a little more will in our game,’’ he said. “You’re not just here going for a twirl. It’s a hard game, and you’ve got to play it hard.’’
There are five months remaining in the NHL season, but if it ended today, the Rangers (11-10-5, 27 points) would be out of the playoffs. And Trouba clearly is desperate to change that.
“There’s a lot of story left to be written, it’s not a done thing by any means,’’ he said after the game. “But it’s gone on for a bit now, and something needs to change. I think there needs to be a little bit more of a pushback from ourselves within. We can’t keep doing the same things and expect a different result.’’
The Rangers are 1-4-1 in their last six games and 4-6-4 at home. They just played three games in four nights against two of the NHL’s worst teams in Ottawa (twice) and Chicago and went 1-1-1.
The messaging from coach Gerard Gallant and the rest of the Rangers after the Chicago loss was that it wasn’t as bad as it looked, that despite the loss, the Rangers had done some good things. They played better than they had the night before against Ottawa in a 3-2 overtime loss.
But Trouba wouldn’t stay on message.
“This is a result league,’’ he said. “You’re here to win hockey games. It’s an emotional game. You’ve got to play with some emotion, some energy. It’s not just going to happen. You’ve got to go make it happen and will it to happen.
“And I think we could use more of that.’’
Notes & quotes: The Rangers returned forward Jonny Brodzinski to AHL Hartford on Sunday.