As late as Monday night, I was still questioning whether the hiring of Alain Vigneault was the right move. The new Ranger head coach's hands-off approach wasn't motivating his team, while his lack of energy and emotion seemed to be having a negative impact on the players.
But amidst all the questioning and second guessing by fans, the Rangers have begun turning this around. Defensive breakdowns? No more. Lack of clutch saves? Don't think so. An embarrassing power play? Not even close.
It's actually gotten to the point where these guys are finally standing up for one another.
Now, is it perfect? Not even close. And if they lose tonight to the lowly Sabres, all the progress they have made will have been all for naught. But after a bit of a transition period, the players look to be coming around to Vigneault's systems on the ice as well as his self policing mantra off it.
Brian Boyle (via New York Post)...
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a little bit of an adjustment for me with the difference in approach, but I still have to do a job and hold myself accountable. We all have to do our jobs and hold each other accountable.
“To suggest that we aren’t being held to the same standard now as we were by Torts wouldn’t be respectful to this staff. We are. It’s just a different style.”
“I’m not going to criticize the way Torts went about his business. We got used to it and we did have a certain amount of success. But with Vigneault, it’s more on us to hold each other accountable.
“Everyone wants to be coached and needs coaching, but there comes a time when it’s better for a guy to hear it from a teammate than the coach.”
“I respect Torts as a coach, but there are different methods of coaching and different ways to win a championship. Torts only won once, you know.”
...man, you can really tell that the Rangers players absolutely wanted a change behind the bench. Anyone who's still under the impression that the Rangers would be better off this season with Tortorella just isn't paying attention to what these guys are saying. If you can believe it, the season might have actually begun even worse for the Rangers under Torts.
...now that doesn't mean AV is the right man for the job, as the jury is still out. However, as the Rangers players slowly, but surely get more comfortable with their new head coach, we're finally getting a glimpse of how good this team can be.
...ummm, Brad? Last time I checked, you only won one Cup as well. And that one was with Torts behind the bench. Can't believe how volitile the situation has gotten between the two former friends.
Vigneault confused me when during an interview on ESPN NY after the opener he said; Why is everyone asking me what am I going to do with the power play? and after the first couple of losses he said I am still getting to know this team. Those are not positives at all and some things he has said should concern fans. The team has underachieved early for sure.
I get everyone stating the obvious and how the players look like babies for complaining about Torts being too hard on them. Here's what I have to believe is the bigger underlying issue that many of us miss and why I think Glenn Sather fired him. Last year, Torts demonstrated a complete unwillingness to adjust his approach. Realize this, Del Zotto continued to be on the power play for the entire season and playoffs despite awful turnovers, puck handling, and lack of goal/assist. He left Richards in the line up for the entire season and after finally moving him to the 4th line (are you kidding me) he then benched him. The powerplay was awful under torts and despite that he continued the same approach each night. That for me is coaching by insanity......doing the same thing over and over expecting the same result. Had he made necessary adjustments resulting in more wins and a better playoff run....he'd still be in NY
" But with Vigneault, it’s more on us to hold each other accountable." This is why AV has never won a Stanley Cup.
If the Rangers lose 3 straight some people will say AV must go....etc, etc...my point is this lineup is never going to win a Stanley Cup; 1st, you need 2 legitimate scoring lines, 2 checking lines, 3 to 4 fighters...yahdi, yahdi
Scotty haha. Well put sir. No emotion. Besides 2 games they have sucked. And if you're happy with that you're also probably one of the people that doesn't think we need an enforcer.
“I respect Torts as a coach, but there are different methods of coaching and different ways to win a championship. Torts only won once, you know.”
This is a victim comment. I would have more respect for Richards if the wussey would also have included how last year he totally let down his teammates, he totally let down his organization and he totally let down all NY Ranger fans by reporting to last year's camp completely unprepared.
A true leader would have stepped up and included those comments about himself when he says there are different ways to win a championship........what different ways do you know of Brad? Come on Brad, don't hold back now!
Brad's only won one cup and AV has won NONE! That's top of the list for dumb-ass quote of the season. And I was starting to like Richards again. jesus.
And for the record, even if the players wanted a change because their boss was too hard on them (awww, wahhhh), had Sather or someone come in and said, "Torts is the coach, he's the boss and that's final." And then got rid of the players who didn't agree (buy out Richards). Or had one of the "leaders" on the team came to Torts and said, "we need you to ease off a bit" Torts would have been just fine this season. Lack of support and communication plagued that team more than Torts style. Still miss and love that blue collar approach.
Glad to read these players' comments, but Kevin, when you say: "Defensive breakdowns? No more. Lack of clutch saves? Don't think so. An embarrassing power play? Not even close." We're only talking about a game or two. I would Love it if we would stop seeing defensive breakdowns, but we both know there are more to come. And the embarrassing power play? I'm going to require some ongoing convincing. Lack of clutch saves? Keep it coming goalies, and thank goodness for Cam Talbot!
I was encouraged by the Detroit game and the Islanders game was so much fun I wouldn't have been too disheartened even if they lost. While it does appear to be coming together, we're all looking for some consistency. We'll be watching ...
So the 'braintrust' that was interviewed there are happier, they are also a big part of the reason why this start has been so horrible. Boyle blows and Staal is playing his worse puck of his career. AV is an clueless empty suit who needs to go.
I thought Torts was good coach, but man was he a-hole. I didn't like rooting for him much less playing for him
Fire AV...no wait plan the parade...wait, fire AV. Man, my head is spinning and it's only 11 games! Sure, we've seen the good, the meh, and the ugly in those games, but 11 games is not enough to establish what this team will end up being under this new coach/system. Personally, I LOVE the fact that the players are now being held accountable by one another. Teams NEVER win championships playing for their coach, they win them playing for one another. And that's what these guys look like they're starting to do.
good for the rangers !! FU TORTS! cant wait to beat vancouvers ass. he spent 4 years calling people out in the media i have no problem with them sending it back. yeah torts won the cup with lighning, he had 3-4 hall of famers on the team with a world class goalie in khabibulin.
besides who says winnning the cup is the ultimate pre-req? id rather a coach whos gotten close but hungry to get his first anyway, ala one MIKE KEENAN. LGR
I don't think it would have made a difference. Torts was the scapegoat and some of the fans wanted his head (I waasnt part of that). If you look up and down this lineup, it's hard to come up with 4 solid lines. Torts worked hard to mix and match this group. We won a presidents trophy with a team that was probably a 7/8 seed at best. We have a lot of missing parts and its hard to compare us to teams like the Penguins/ Bruins/ BlackHawks/ Sharks. We are lacking an identity right now-- Although there has been some improvement I was very disappointed at our effort at the Garden on opening day. Not even giving the fans a goal took the energy right out. Hopefully Hagelin's return will keep up the energy we need. cant wait for Cally to return
Allot of people wanted AV fired after a few games and IMO that wasn't the answer, if anyone needed to be fired it was Dolan firing himself,and Sather......It was a brutal way to start the season and the preseason with the injuries and the road trips...I kno the jury's still out on AV but it looks like the players r starting to get it ,and time will tell......still think we need more skill, especially on the blue line....A QB on the point which is something allot of us have been saying for years...lets see what happens......LETS GO RANGERS
Callahan asked if he would still block a shot up 2 goals in the final seconds of a game.
His answer. "I think you know the answer to that."
And that my friends is why he is the captain.
Not for nothing, but... this was one game. Was great to see them win against the Isles, and I do think they looked decent the last 2 games, but that hasn't sold me on AV, and I'm not going to change my opinion because they pulled off a win. Ask me again at mid-season when their record might actually mean something.
So far AV seems like he plays it safe too much. that was one of my principle issues with Torts as well. Success in hockey, like life itself is predicated upon taking appropriate risks at times, thinking outside of the proverbial box and trusting their gut, or at least taking intuition into account when making decisions. All the great coaches have done that. It's way too early to know one way or another if AV is right for this team though the turnaround seems to be for real. It's kind of nice to not see all the "fire AV" posts the last 2 days, however all that could change come later tonight.. . LGR
Callahan is only 7 days away says Katie strang.... How the hell does this guy heal so quick... He is a tough motherfucker
I am becoming more optimistic with this team with each game as they do appear to be coming together, but until they win two in a row I am hesitant. I have a really good feeling tonight as we are playing a struggling team at home, and the Rangers should want to redo their home opener.
As for Nash, I am beginning to think that it may be a long time until we see him again. He has had some pretty bad concussions and while the hit did not look too terrible, it was under the chin, which can lead to severe concussions. I feel for the guy and hope that it is not career ending, but time will tell.
Wait til we get Callahan and hopefully Nash back. We will actually be able to score goals to go along with our solid defensive play. I mean imagine having these lines with Kreider playing like he is:
Hagelin - Richards - Nash
Kreider - Stepan - Callahan
Miller - brassard - pouliot
Boyle - Moore - Dorset
Now that is a lineup. That top 6 could actually be feared instead of laughed at
I really wonder if that Richards comment was taken out of context (not by you, by Brooks). Is that all he said? And if so, what was the question? I get there is definitely a rift there but I can't believe he wants to fight it out in the media.
Agree on Torts...I wanted him to stay but obviously the players didn't. I would just like to see something that tells me AV knows what he's doing and is the right guy for the job. Right now, it's like trying to pick the lesser of the evils on which should be coach.
Yeah, you're right....the whole NHL goalie position is overrated and honestly you don't have to be that good for a team to be successful.
@EHBIGAPPLE Yup , throw your former coach under the bus when you didn't even bother to show up last season. Very nice.
@AG_Blue I think all of those things have been the case since the St. Louis game. Except for pp vs. Habs.
@gravey94 Maybe that's why "Angry Brad" surfaced.
@Trade DelZotto+Girardi4E.Kane Frankly, cause he usually comes back too early from injuries, and then gets hurt again.
@Trade DelZotto+Girardi4E.Kane Original diagnosis was 3-4 weeks. A week from now would be 3 weeks. That sounds like healing on schedule to me lol
@Trade DelZotto+Girardi4E.Kane sadly he also gets hurt 1-2 times a year
@Trade DelZotto+Girardi4E.Kane He's our superhero
@Trade DelZotto+Girardi4E.Kane Drinks lots of milk!!!
@JustinRP37 The only thing that gives me an inkling of hope with Nash is that even with the team up against the cap he has not been placed on injured reserve. I would think this would not happen if it was clearly know that he will be gone for a long time.
@Trade DelZotto+Girardi4E.Kane What is your thinking behind removing Richards from the wing? I believe he leads the team in shots taken and goals scored. His position on the PP has become a shooting position (I will give AV credit for that). I also think Kreider going in front of the net and Richards shooting from the point makes our PP more potent. What do you think?
@Melissa (blknblueshirts) I thought the same thing. We couldn't see Richards' face when he said that. Sounds like there might have been a bit of a smile when he said it. Because the reality is, AV hasn't won at all! So, once is actually better.
@messier Blown away by that comment.
I can't agree. The losses to the debs and fliers being most glaring, but there were definitely defensive breakdowns, preventable goals, and a stagnant pp along the way. I can see how the game in St. Louis might have been a sort of turning point, especially after two brutal losses to San Jose and Anaheim respectively, but we're making baby steps. The win on the island was a ton of fun, but I'm not gonna get ahead of myself here. This team really has its work cut out if we're going to see any kind of consistency. Meanwhile, I have complete confidence that they're capable.
I'm a salesman for a dairy and we need Cally's face on the side of our trucks.
I would have said HGH but milk sounds better haha
@Betweentheworlds Yeah but at the same time these things are really tricky. We should know more for sure within 10 more days.
I think Richards see's torts face telling him he was not playing in the playoffs last year. He is using that every workout and every game.
Even year 1 with Richards I was a little shocked at how he played as it did not impress...playoffs were a different story.
But this is the Richards I expected the last 2 years, he is smooth and controlling play instead of looking slow and disinterested.
Love the progress ... looking forward to their building on it tonight
@Melissa (blknblueshirts) @Betweentheworlds @JustinRP37 yeah, Melissa but what's going on with the Rangers and their superstar is widely known by the entire hockey world. Blow to the head, concussion history, out indefinately. etc Does not make any logical sense to try to hide anything unless the injury is not what it logically appears to be. IDK but trying to make sense out of the silence, no injury reserve etc. we should know in a week or 2
@Ciffy02 Maybe Richie saw Torts' face on Clutterbuck the other night.