Let the insanity begin. Alain Vigneault has officially made the boldest move of his short New York Rangers head coaching career as he will start Cam Talbot for the second straight game over Henrik Lundqvist tonight against Winnipeg.
Vigneault said that despite giving his backup the nod tonight, Lundqvist is still the number one starter.
Vigneault did add that based on the way Talbot has been playing he's the best option tonight.
Here's Lundqvist, who admitted he's not happy with the decision, on the sitting tonight (via Rangers)...
"We have a great relationship. I support Cam, he supports me..it's about the team..tonight this is best for the team."
...had to know this was going to be the move when AV wouldn't announce starter on Saturday. I'd pay to see video of the Rangers head coach breaking this news to Lundqvist. Can't imagine it went over too well.
...i know it's just one game, but I don't want to hear anyone down play this decision. The cornerstone of the Rangers for the last eight years has just been benched because AV feels the backup goaltender with all of seven starts in his NHL career gives the Rangers a better chance to win tonight. If that's not controversial, I don't know what is.
...to the move itself. I like it. This Rangers team needs to be shaken up a bit, especially Lundqvist, who, at best, has been average this season. Plus, Talbot has been way too hot to ignore. And is Hank kidding me saying the team doesn't play differently in front of Talbot? Ummm, yes they do.
...besides a wakeup call for Lundqvist, it puts every player in that Rangers locker room on notice. If you're not performing up to expectations, you will not play. Very impressed that AV had the chutzpah to make this move.
...having said that, I hope AV's ready for any blow back from the media, players and fans if this back fires. Especially if Lundqvist becomes so jaded with decision, he asks to be moved or announces he will seek free agency this summer. Should be real interesting to see what happens if Talbot has another impressive performance tonight.
In much less controversial news, John Moore and Taylor Pyatt will be healthy scratches for the second game in a row.
...no surprise here as AV rarely changes his lineup after a win.
This is the right move. Talbot has been too good, and Hank has not been up to snuff. Like everyone said, at the very least, this will be a good wakeup call for Hank, and if it isn't, and Talbot keeps cruising, well... I guess having another goalie come up through the system with little hype and prove they're a massive talent isn't such a bad thing.
Two things recently happened to the King that are affecting his play and concentration. Neither one has anything to do with the size of his pads. He got married and had a kid. There is no bigger distraction than a kid. He did not suddenly lose his talent. He will get his concentration back and will be King again. Unless his wife relentlessly
nags him like every other woman I have ever known..........
At the end of the day I'm just happy we have a backup competant enough who can be trusted to start back to back games.
On whether Vigneault told him personally he’s still the No. 1 goalie:
“Yup. This game is not what about you did last year or last eight years or last month. It’s about now. And right now this is probably, or is the best decision for the team. I stand behind that. I just have to see it as a challenge for me to really reach my top level. I’m not satisfied with being OK. Yeah I played a solid game. I want to be great and if I’m not, I’m not satisfied. I just need to push myself even hard.”
Hank is gonna be fine
Personally, I think this is all about leverage in Hank's next contract. Before Talbot became the no. 2, Lundqvist was holding all the cards for negotiation. This is management's opportunity to tip the scales a little. Its all business.
Can someone explain to me why JT Miller is in Hartford while Dominic Moore continues to get ice time with the big club? A quarter of the season gone, and he's got one assist! Perhaps his game would improve with more minutes in Hartford, while Miller has shown he's ready for NY.
Full transcript of the q&a session with Hank from Andrew Gross. I've been overly critical of the guy the past few weeks, but I like his answers to most of the questions. Obviously he knows what to say and what not to say, but he seems to approaching this correctly:
They don't play differently? Somehow they seem to find the back of the opponents' net with talbot back in theirs...why can't they seem to do that for the guy that's taken them through the past 8 years?
I just thought of something... you know how the team played afraid to make a mistake under torts... I wonder if they play that same way in front of hank like afraid to make a mistake
everyone has to stay calm and not get their undies in an uproar. this, having two goalies ready to go is just what the doctor ordered. you have to remember that just after new years ole henry is going to be putting time in w/team sweeden and taking those extra games, practices and travel into consideration, it makes great sense to have talbot in tip top game condition. it's going to take a lot of pressure off of henry while giving talbot much needed work. if talbot can go on a 4,5,or 6 game run without hurting the team, everybody wins and is probably in the the long run going to make things better for the playoffs.
Let's be honest. Hank has not played his best this year. Maybe the contract negotiations are in his head, who knows? But he's a pro, and he needs to suck it up and be better. He's still getting paid effing millions for pete's sake. Hopefully, this move lights a fire under his ass. Ride Talbot while he's hot, and let Hank come back pissed off. Great move by AV.
Anyone else cracking up at the Rangers advertising team right now? Just got the team email with the Headline "Rangers Battle Jets Seeking Elusive Goal". I'm sitting here thinking there's some little known stat, maybe something about the Rangers playing certain teams at MSG or something. After clicking on 3 links and going through a slide show, the elusive goal: Get to 2 games above .500!!
Not quite in the same wheelhouse as 100+ games getting at least a point when going in to the 3rd with a lead. Unfortunately we don't have that one now, either...
Maybe it's a matter of perspective and expectations.
Hank loses 1-0 and gives up a softie in the loss, and many think there's something wrong with him and he's not as good as he used to be.
Talbot wins 5-2 and plays solid, and we think he's on fire.
Why? Cause we expect Hank to stop everything, and if Talbot plays well, it's all gravy cause he doesn't have the high expectations that Hank has.
Hank's created his own monster with fans cause of his stellar play throughout his career. He lets up a few softies, and everyone thinks we have to ship him off or he needs to retire, and that's unrealistic.
I remember at some point in think in the '11-12 season, Biron getting two or three scheduled starts in order to let Hank practice and work on a few things with Allaire. He came back a week later and was lights out. I expect the same thing to happen here.
I wrote it below but I think I should mention it again. Whatever your opinion, this may just be manipulation on the part of AV. I mean, how do you make a goalie who is a perennial Vezina candidate to get to another level of his game? A healthy goalie competition maybe???
Every major college football program in this country does the same thing. Bring in 3 recruits for one spot and let them battle it out.
Hank has been great for a long time, but we all know he won't be a legend in NY until he wins a cup. This might just be the boost he needs to finally get there.
Lots of knee jerk reactions on the boards about the NYR goalies. Talbot has been good, and he's playing with confidence, so don't mind him starting over Hank next game. However, AV said it, Hank is still the no. 1.
And it bears repeating, but Talbot is not tested. He's played 7 games! Remember Vladamir Vorobiev and Daniel Goneau? Yeah, not many do. They tore it up their first 5-6 games with the NYR, and then disappeared.
I really hope Talbot becomes an elite goalie, I really do, cause it gives the NYR options and future, but let's not place him in elite goalie status after 7 games. It's like in baseball, when a new pitcher or new hitter has immediate success in his first few games, and all the fans think they're going to be the next superstar, and then teams scout, discover weaknesses, and exploit and they were just nothing but a flash in the pan.
Let Talbot go through that first, and after he's battle tested, then we can have a greater understanding of his potential and abilities.
I wonder what's up with hank he doesn't seem like himself, maybe he and the new coaching staff don't see eye to eye and he's kinda in a fuck it train of thought. This is gonna get so blown out of proportion by the media but hopefully it will not divide the locker room. Hank could just have a lot of personal things going on, he's still human and there could be something we don't see or know about. Anyway talbots been solid comes from a hardworking background but he is already 26 so he's certainly an awesome back up or tandem goalie but I don't see him as a sustainable future goalie we need draft picks IMO. Hopefully hank pulls it together cuz we need him and if he leaves or gets traded and pulls it together elsewhere it would probably be a bigger problem
I've not heard anyone say that Talbot WILL be better than Hank. Who the hell knows. Odds are against it. The only point is that given the recent play of both goalies and the team's play in front of them the odds are that Talbot gives you the best chance to win TONIGHT. So you make the call to play him. It could all change tomorrow though. So what?
After that the only debate the Rangers have is whether to pay a 32 yr old goalie a ton of money and years when the FACT is that you will be paying more for less. (and everything that that fact influences)
you guys crush on talbot is cute but if he gives up 5 tonight then what? just relax, AV is just poking hank a bit. For all you know it alls the trade bait is talbot, not hank. this serves 2 purposes, makes talbot look more valuable and kicks hank in the ass. thats all. talbot will have a soft game and you guys will sprain your ankle jumping off the bandwagon
Anyone who says anything negative about lundqvist has absolutely no hockey sense what so ever....Are you guys crazy...this is the backbone of our franchise for the last 8 years....does no one remember pre-lockout? I'm not knocking cam, he's a good kid with tons of potential, but exactly as the article says, he is 7 games into his career!....you guys are willing to give up on the king, a Vezina winning goalie, who might I add has saved our butts numerous occasions....Even if Talbot is a great goalie...he is not henrik lundqvist after 7 games lmaooo...some of the posts just make me laugh....Do you know what the odds are on a rookie goalie being just as good in his sophomore year? I just pray that sather doesent go crazy and do something stupid we all know he is capable of....Im not any coach but A/V is crazy for not giving hank his bounce back game....yea he is on a bit of a cold streak, and yea maybe he is frustrated that this kid is stepping on his toes a bit....but one thing hank HAS proven in his 8 Years and almost 300 GAMES is that he knows what to do to bounce back and win....I want someone to argue with that....Cam and his 7 games...really?....please guys lets be real ranger fans and back our franchise goalie!....He's allowed a slump here and there for what he has given to us....
@rangerdave56 Miller is a fourth line center who's skills define the position - he's good on faceoffs, defensively responsible, and excels on the PK. We want Miller to be more than that, scoring, playmaking, back-checking, etc. and playing on the 4th line in NY won't advance his progress. Now playing on the 3rd line in NY and replacing Pyatt or Pouliot is the question I'm looking for an answer to.
@rangerdave56 Miller's not ready. Miller had one goal and one assist, so not really much improvement from Moore. And I think Moore is the only Ranger to have won a faceoff this year.
@johnnyb3910 Got to give him credit for standing in there and taking every question.
@cb1 and let's not forget, when Hank gets into that mode, he's arguably the best goalie in the world.
And to those who say, we've never won anything with Hank, I shudder to imagine where the NYR would finish every year if we still had say a Keving Weekes or Mike Dunham caliber goalie instead of Hank.
@PenaltySh0t sad but true
The issue is there is not enough time to test the waters as 1) we are in a playoff battle 2) no such thing as a rebuild option in NY 3) hank is a UFA in 6 months or so.
@Say my Name i dont mind the brief benching, but the trade and let walk talk is over the line and a bad thought mid-season
@Say my Name honestly man what you are saying is absurd...your actually willing to let a vezina winning goalie walk, over money for a 7 game rookie....u should not post here anymore until u learn what hockey is...I am a die hard ranger fan and, that would be the stupidest decision made since montreal traded Roy to Colorado in 95'....btw colorodo was 96 Stanley cup champs
@Say my Name above average goalies in this league make atleas 4-5 million, so if we replace him with a 5 million dollar goalie wed be saving what? 2mil and change?
you bring up boston , chicago, pitt, anaheim as the models for success. they all have goalies thattt make atleast 5 million so whats your point? rask makes 6, nieme 4.5, crawford 6, fleury 7
how long do you think we can play with a million dollar goalie? ok fine you think hanks nott worth 7 but youd rather pay someone close 5-6 ot save a million or 2? for what, tot sign back taylor pyatt?
@Mikee_geee thank you, well said.
but hes 7-1 bla bla shutup. HANK
@MikeBlue @rangerdave56 Miller is too mistake prone at the current time. For every nice play he makes, he makes a pretty bad one too. Also, from what I hear, he needs some maturing to do too personality-wise.
Dom Moore has been pretty consistent and is defensively responsible. Sure, he doesn't light it up on the scoresheet, but he's done all that's asked of him as a fourth line and actually provides some grit.
@Kevin DeLury @johnnyb3910 Granted his answers were probably verbatim what AV said to him, and he knows he can't come off as some kind of diva. Hopefully he practices what he preaches, and responds the way we know he can. But you're right, he didn't sound frustrated at all, which is probably a good thing, until questions about the contract came up.
@cb1 @PenaltySh0t yep...LOVE him, but another guy you can't sign. He has given his body and he is a small man. He will never give back in play (sadly as he is going to get more and more beat up) what you pay. You don't want to pay a grinder who can't grind. His injury woes are on Sather not providing a team that could take some of that off his shoulders.
@Lordstanleybroadway Well, if I'm GM (which I'm not), I try to sign Hank rather than go with an unproven rookie goalie who's played 7 games. Lots of people calling for the opposite.
@Mikee_geee @Say my Name of course you are a fan. you talk like one - completely blind and subjective. It is not about Talbot you dolt. It is about NOT being hamstrung by a huge year huge money contract to a player who is 32 when he signs. Pay Hank 8 mil per year, sure, for 3 years. After that it will be you the "diehard fan" who will be whining (as I am sure you have been since 1994) about how the Rangers suck.
And I LOVE your rational about a Vezina winning goalie. WTF? It is among the stupidest comments ever. The Rangers haven't won with Hank AT HIS BEST. Now you want to pay him LONG TERM when he will by definition be worse. How well do you think the Rangers will do then? Will they be as good as they were when HANK was playing like a GOD....which was MEDIOCRE???? Do the math....I'll wait....NO of course not. If Hank is not AS GOOD as he was and you are paying him MORE (which means less for other positions) the Rangers will be WORSE than the mediocre team they have been. Idiot. I can show it to you, but I can't learn it for you.
@Mikee_geee @Say my Name I don't think anyone is upset about the $ but the term. Someone made a solid point yesterday saying Sather should take the Patriot tact. Use a player until they are on the decline, then let another team sign him for way too much. I think everyone is happy to make Hank the highest paid goalie in the league. But what about 5 years from now? 6? 7? 8???
@Mikee_geee hank needs to be signed and put in the right frame of mind ASAP
Some people are going to want to sign hank at any cost. Others are going to want to not be tied down by a massive contract. Certainly both sides can understand each other's opinion.
Personally, I fall into the camp that thinks you pay for projected worth not past performance. I love Hank, he's done great for us. But I won't love him in 6, 7, 8 years if he's being paid 10 mil/per. That's not saying get rid of him. THat's not saying Talbot's number one. It's just saying, let's be smart with this situation and this upcoming contract.
@Lordstanleybroadway with Sather as GM, we will get neither. We'll get a perennial "barely make the playoffs" team that still plays to a sold out crowd, and why would Dolan complain about that?
@Mikee_geee No. I do not trust Talbot yet. And it would be a long time until I did.
And I am not, nor is anyone I think, saying Hank is on the decline. But, in 5 years? 6? Can you guarantee he'll be as good as he is now? I don't think you can. Just like no one can guarantee that there will be a better alternative.
Bottom line, if you can get the deal done for 4, 5 or 6, why would you go 8? Why would you even put it on the table?
And I do remember the Roy controversy. But he wanted out. Especially after his coach left him in the game that he lost 11-1 against Detroit. There was some bad blood there and they had to move him. I think Roy even said after the game it was his last game in Montreal.
And there are teams that have moved on from Vezina winners and are still doing well. Look at Rask in Boston? On the flip side, Brodeur has stayed in NJ and they haven't won a cup. It's all a crap shoot. It's all a gamble. No reason to point fingers and yell at each other. We're all part right and part wrong.
@GiveGartneraCup I agree the term is the tough part, but since when after 8 games do you say someone is on the decline? ...and your telling me that hypothetically that would be the only way to get the deal done...you would be ok with letting hank walk....and putting all your trust into an untested goalie...you do remember the montreal trade of Roy right?....rule of thumb, you don't trade ur franchise vezina winning hall of fame goaltender at 32 yrs old....even if we sign him for a long time, can u imagine the next upcoming goalie coming up, how much it value to play with hank....come on man we made enough bad moves in past years....
Do u want one cup in next 3 years or sustainable perennial contender for next 10 years? These are some tough decisions coming for our franchise and if sather effs this up we can be trouble but if he gets it right we'll be in great shape for a long time. 14 free agents cap going up and Richards will be bought out. We have to decide who is staying and the ones who aren't need to be dealt for assets.
Maybe that's what AV wants? Maybe AV is trying to light a fire under his star and as a result the rest of the team as well.
Bottom line, Talbot's played well, it's ONE extra game, and it gives something Hank has been lacking in the locker room the last 8 years, Competition. Maybe this is the final hurdle he needs to overcome towards a cup.
@DubiLeetch 100% agreed...I just cant believe that people are actually giving up on hank after 7/8 games...for a rookie goalie that has yet to get his feet wet with actual pressure!...Hank needs a contract ASAP!