inside the rangers

What we learned from the best and worst performances in Rangers training camp

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What happens in preseason often stays in preseason. But sometimes not. Before moving onto and into the 2021-22 season that commences Wednesday night in Washington, let us take a quick look back at this first Rangers training camp under head coach Gerard Gallant and his staff.

Good camp: Kaapo Kakko. This time, this isn’t hype. Kakko showed up at camp with a different, more streamlined body — check out the 20-year-old’s face: the baby fat has disappeared — and a different, more dynamic attitude.

Perhaps the most revealing play of the six exhibition games came last Wednesday night at the Garden when Kakko not only was able to skate away from P.K. Subban following a turnover at the Rangers line, but then again to accelerate away from New Jersey’s pursuing defenseman’s attempted hook before finishing his breakaway by beating Jonathan Bernier. Doubt that it would have gone down that way a year or two ago.