Alexis Lafreniere’s first fight ‘went a long way’ with Rangers teammates

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Alexis Lafrenier took exception to JG Pejo’s high hit on his teammate Ryan Lindgren in the third round of Rangers’ final 4-1 win on Long Island on Wednesday night, so the former first-overall pick took his first overall. The fight provoked hockey career.

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After tripping Pageau in passing with less than two minutes into regulation – a call the referee certainly missed – Lafrenier skated back to crosscheck Pageau. The two became entangled before Lafrenier dodged his gloves and hit a handful of punches from Pejo’s side, causing the two players to fall on top of each other in the snow.

“I thought it was a little high, and I didn’t like it, so I went on it,” Lafrenier said Thursday afternoon after Rangers Thanksgiving practice. “And you saw what happened, so you know, maybe I have to work on my fighting skills.”

Rangers’ Alexis Lafrenier faces New York Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pejou
AP, Getty Images

The Rangers may face a skeleton of the Islanders lineup, which has been decimated by a COVID-19 outbreak and long-term injuries, but the Isles were still able to play the physical brand of hockey that has become The exceptional quality of an organization’s identity.

Young players like Lafrenier can take away from competition in these types of games, which involves not only suppressing the opponent’s aggression but also countering it.

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“I’ve always played physically, but you’ve got to be more physical here, I guess,” said the 20-year-old winger. ,[In] This league, nothing is given to you. You really have to work for your space. So it’s good to be physical and add something to your game.”

Lafrenier said that, like many of his younger peers, he took some lessons from the Ryan Reeves School of Fighting. He described Reeves as one of the toughest guys in the NHL and said that experienced promoters can teach the Rangers how to protect themselves in those situations.

Lindgren, who said he was feeling fine after Pejo’s hit, saw Lafrenier and Adam Granthshala standing for him from the locker room. The defenseman said it meant a lot to see that two of his teammates usually defend him in this way.

“He made the move for a teammate, but, again, I don’t want him to fight all that long,” head coach Gerard Gallant said of Lafrenier, before Rangers held Friday’s matinee against the Bruins. Traveled to Boston. “But when you’re a team and you stick together, it goes a long way with your teammates. For that, doing [Wednesday] Night, it came a long way with his companions. ,

While Lafrenier was never known as a fighter through his three seasons with the Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League – and he will probably never be known as such – he still added dimension to his game. Used to be. Part of this is balancing his physical game with his smart approach to the game which fuels his offensive abilities.

“I’m not a fighter,” he said. “I’m not going to look for fights in every game, but you never know what could happen. So I’m definitely always ready.”


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