Toronto Maple Leafs bringing the best out of Paul Ranger
The Leafs have a total of 11 forwards left to work with and for now the formation is suiting Carlyle and Paul Ranger like a hand fits a glove.
“He’s getting more of an opportunity because he’s earned his minutes,” said Carlyle. “It spread the minutes around on our back end.”
He added that the formation allowed Ranger to be more comfortable and play the way he felt best.
“It’s allowed Paul Ranger to grow into a more comfortable position with us: the penalty killing, playing 15 minutes of hockey. It takes some of the tougher minutes away from some of our other personnel.”
When the season started great things were expected from Ranger. He had previously left the NHL due to personal reasons and at 25 he decided to ppick from where he had left things. Although at the start of the season he was excellent, his performance waned as it wore on but then he got strong again. The Leafs acquired him through a trade in which they gave Tim Gleason. They wanted a player who could bring some stability into the team and get them on their feet when the going got tough.
Since then Ranger has been back in action and scoring goals. His defensive plays have been excellent and has been scoring as well. In the last 10 games, he has been in 9 of them and the current score for Leafs is 5-2-2.
Ranger said that the difference between him now and at the start is confidence, something he has learnt when he restarted his season.
“Focus. It’s just a will and a determination that I want to be in the lineup. I want to play. I want to be a part of things. Personally, for me, I want to be able to play and I want to play consistently,” he said. “I want to play to the best of my ability, to continue to rise, to continue to improve my game every day . . . just contribute as much as I can.”