Recall when the Rangers’ training staff all got COVID-19 in mid-March. The league had to call up the manager and assistant coach of their Hartford Wolf Pack affiliate team to stand alongside their bench for ten days.
“As the Ranger youngsters practiced at the MSG Training Center in preparation for Saturday’s rookie match against Philadelphia Flyers, goalkeeper Tyler Wall observed, “That was last year in a nutshell.” “Everything had to be planned ahead of time. Almost everything that could go wrong did. “it was just a strange year.”
Wall, a newbie with the Wolf Pack in 2020-21, was 3-4-1 with a 3.58 aims averages and.865 save % in his first season with the team. He’s hoping for a second chance this year.
“In college, I had these [bad] seasons, but I thought I recovered,” Wall said. “I had two of my greatest seasons in the past two years, and I’m aiming to do the same in Hartford this year.”
Wall scored 3-9-0 with a 3.68 GAA and.868 save % in his debut season at UMass-Lowell. But he bounced back in his junior and senior seasons, earning GAAs of 2.09 and 2.10, respectively, and a save percentage of .921 and.931. He feels that the restoration to a traditional 72-game season and the resumption of the fans will be beneficial.
The Wolf Pack completed 14-9-1 last year after a bizarre 24-game campaign. They played in empty stadiums and only played two opposing players: The Bridgeport Sounds Tigers and the Providence Bruins. However, Hartford will face every team in the AHL’s 15-member Eastern Conference in the year, so things should return to normal.
Wall is well on the Rangers’ goaltender depth chart, including Igor Shesterkin and Farmingville local Keith Kinkaid. Adam Huska, Wall, and Dylan Garand trail the three top players.
For the time being, Wall says he isn’t considering it. Instead, he’s focused on giving his all every day, and this week is a significant one. The clubs will meet for the first time on Saturday at the Rangers’ practice facility and then again on Sunday at the Flyers’ practice rink in Voorhees, N.J.
“It’s thrilling, Wall said. “I believe the boys are all eager to return to playing for a different squad and not monitoring and fighting with their colleagues… We didn’t have any games against the other players last year, so this is a tremendous boost.”