I've been trying to keep an open mind with Alain Vigneault as it's completely unfair to judge him based on the team's performance in just five games, especially when it seems like the players aren't properly executing his system.
However, I do have to question a lot of his on and off ice decision making. You've all seen me criticize AV for allowing the evaluation process to carry on for way too long in the preseason, leaving precious little time to prepare the team for the real games.
I've also been unhappy with what seems like a disconnect with the players, especially after hearing him say he doesn't know the team leadership very well during his post game presser in San Jose.
And what's up with him not calling a timeout to calm down his team and disrupt San Jose's four-goal second period run on Tuesday night? He knows he can do that, right?
Unfortunately, last night in St. Louis it only got worse.
First was his ill-fated and almost desperate decision to go with just 11 forwards and seven defensemen by inserting Justin Falk into the line-up. Not only was Falk a disaster (two interference penalties in just 5:16 of ice time), because AV only had 11 forwards, he was forced to continue playing Derek Dorsett despite his endless parade to the penalty box.
Although, if Tortorella was still behind the bench, Dorsett's ass would have been stapled to the bench even if he had to play three lines the remainder of the game, which is probably what AV should have done, no matter how fatigued his team was.
And this goes back to AV's hands-off approach. How does he not send a message to Dorsett that this kind of undisciplined play is inexcusable? Where's the accountability?
Finally, Vigneault somehow felt that Henrik Lundqvist needed some rest on a night the Rangers were playing one of the hottest teams in the league. Which made zero sense since Lundqvist only played half the game in San Jose on Tuesday and would have four days to recharge his battery before the Rangers next game in Washington on Wednesday. This mistake was further compounded by the fact that AV ended up going to Hank anyway after Marty Biron fell flat on his face. Sure Lundqvist saved the game from getting out of hand in the third, but if he truly needed the rest then using him shouldn't have been an option, unless AV is already second guessing himself just five games into the season. Which wouldn't be good for anyone.
Here's AV describing what went wrong last night...
The players also talked after the game...
Lundqvist hasn't exactly been a brick wall in net, either. It pains me to say it, but I'm not sure the game would've gone much differently had Henrik been in net.
Peter Laviolette. Let's not continue this charade. We need a coach that understands the Eastern Conference game.
Call me the optimist but hoping this start is similar to the Caps start last year. Once Oates' system clicked, they took off. Will not start calling for AV to be fired after 5 games. Will say this though ... if they do fire AV this season, it HAS to be a package deal with Sather.
I don't understand why they have to play a "system" anyway. They all have been playing since they were little kids. Don't they know how hockey works? And most of this team has been together long enough to figure out how to work as a team. Fine set plays I understand, but seriously, hockey runs in their blood. It was what makes them tick, maybe they should dig deeper and pull that out instead of worrying how much money they are going to make over the next three years.
Vignealt in theory was the right hire (if you were someone who wanted torts gone). It's been 5 games but yeah, I want my curmudgeon back. Not benching Dorsett is the one that bugged me the most. I also have concerns that the current lineup is not well suited to his "system" and that perhaps he should find a middle ground and modify to better suit the players he currently has (if only for now).
Ironically had torts started the season w the team and had they sputtered they woulda had the option to replace him w Lavy - another good coach who got a raw deal.
Pure speculation, but I think Biron got the start cause Hank needed a mental break. The Ducks game was one of the rare times I saw Hank show his frustration and lose his focus. I mean that's very rare ever since he came into the league. Maybe he was given a rest to get that focus back.
I understand why Torts was fired but AV definitely would not have been my choice, that of course being if Slats was fired and I got offered the GM job lol, however that didn't happen and AV's our coach now and everyone's going to have to get use to one another. Decisions looked questionable from my end too but we're going to have to see if this guy can adapt or if we just traded one short sighted ego for another. Maybe hes just experimenting as not much is working yet. One thing I'd say so far is that I hate this man to man D. League seems to big and fast for that to work now. Didn't like the collapse and try to block everything defense either. Can't they just find a happy medium? Anyway the coach is not the bottom line for success. The players are. A slow, weak and modestly talented team, cannot be expected to get faster and more skilled just because there's a new coach, especially when the old coach uses a system better suited for the type of players we have. We will have success this year only of we bring some young talent up from the Pack ( who are better suited for AV's system and make some trades.
Watched the other Rangers play the Bruins yesterday, could it be possible the Bruins got bigger and faster and younger. Imagine that.
Speaking of other Rangers I think JD might have them going in the right direction, maybe another Bues type team. Why was it the Rangers didn't hire him, Was it because they have that guy left over from the 20th century?
* our defense and goaltending is brutal
* Brad Richards is our best player
* the PP is looking good
...your 2013-14 Bizzaro Rangers
This team shot their load 2 years ago as Torterella had them playing waaaay over their head. Typically they are and have been a bottom seeded playoff team 6-8 since the lockout of 2005. Now they are just a small slower boring team with no toughness. Such as easy team to play against. Defense is very vanilla and Henrik looks lost. Time for a new GM and start trading and trimming the fat. Look to trade Nash, Girardi, Stephan for some future #1's and maybe trade Hank too before he walks at the end of the year. He knows he ain't winning no cup here.
At some point it is all excuses when people are paying big money to go to games and our stinking cable bills are ridiculous too. WE had half a season due to a strike last year only to watch our team play like they didn't want to be there. We are already starting this sason in a hole. Enough blame to go around, if they cannot play this system adapt to what you personal allows.
To play AV's system you need a couple of stay at home defenseman to balance the aggressive offensive play of your mobile defensemen. We need to have that corrected soon. Totally agree that some of AV's decisions have been curious. I would of started Biron against the Ducks. It was the end of a back to back. Its going to take time for all parties to get comfortable. I read a comment from Hitchcock of Blues saying it might take close to 2 months before a team can adapt to a new system.
I miss Tort's press conferences. Alain is BORING. I nearly fell asleep during his press conference but that annoying dry mouth smacking sound he keeps making was grossing me out so much it kept me awake.
So let's see, Tom Renney was fired because the mild-mannered team was on a downward spiral. Torts was brought in to make them tougher to play against, which he did. Team needed a center/PP QB, Sather signed Brad Richards to the applause of many NY Rangers fans. Team went to ECF. Team needed more scoring, so Rick Nash was brought in, again to applause of many NY Rangers fans. Team underachieved, Sather traded Gabby for some additional "grit" that Torts wanted. Went to playoffs, again, lost in 2nd round. Torts was fired because he couldn't win with the team created for him. Now AV is supposed to go out and go 5-0 with a team created for another coach? How bout we give him a little time to figure out who will and won't work in his system. Tortorella was given 4 years to have a team built for him, AV is given 5 games? Come on now. These things take time.
@TheNYRBlog did you hear any news about Brassard?
@TheNYRBlog gonna take him time to see who can perform in certain situations. Finding out that players maybe were the problem and not Torts
@TheNYRBlog Rangers could very well win 3 of next 4 games nd be goin back 2 Garden 4-5 which is really good all things considered
@TheNYRBlog check your email
Why does he try to play a man-man defense instead of zone defense? Clearly he doesn't have the defensive players for a man on man defense. Staal, MDZ, McD and Girardi all look bad...
I agree with it all. If your not going to play hank don't play him. If he had started last night, we at least get a point...
The 7 d and 11 forwards was just incredibly dumb (the only thing I can think is Asham was hurt)... If not I just have no idea what this moron was thinking
@TheNYRBlog It appears to me, in my amateur opinion, that AV is questioning some of his own decisions & is doubting himself, which spreads..
"In theory" for the play it safe mentality of our GM, but given our team, our city etc there were other options that were higher risk higher reward. Anyway it's too soon to speculate and I'm more than happy to eat crow but just didn't feel AV, even before he got the job.
@shoot_the_goalie wow imagine that? I'd love JD back :(
@DaveFL JD has done well for himself in upper management, no? Turned STL into a contender and then really improving CBJ. And all this time I thought he was just good at saying "Oh Baby!"
@cb1 not for nothing the PK has been pretty good too.
@Thebodisatfa Not answering questions, berating reporters, berating your opposition, berating your own players? No thank you.
@gravey94 so whats torts excuse in vancouver hes in the same boat
@gravey94 I agree this team has over achieved and been over rated for several yeaars now. There really aren't many players I would not consider trading including Callahan.Time to clean house get picks and young players. Even though he is currently leading the team in scoring it was a HUGE mistake not buying out Richards. AV when he gets " his " players will make this a exciting and fun team to watch.
@gravey94 THANK YOU! And keep in mind.... Basically the whole team is gone next year. 6 or 7 players signed through next year? So hell most likely have a big say in who stays and who they bring in next year.
@tsantoruvo No, why what happened?
@LFredrikJonsson Well, we'll see if AV is adaptable.
@StatgirlWendy @TheNYRBlog isnt that what he did in Vancouver which lead to the whole Scheider/Loungo debacle
@Betweentheworlds Who would have been a better option? Eakins wasn't coming here...only other one I could think of woulda been Lindy Ruff?
@NYR44 Who's Brad Richards ? @gravey94 VAN man for man is a much more talented team than the NYR (goaltending withstanding). It's much easier to have a skilled team playing Torts style than it is having a mediocre team (the NYR) playing AVs style. Heck. It's always easier for a skilled team to play any coaches style over a mediocre team.
@FREE MASHINTER Since when do fans criticize NY coaches? It's a well known fact that NY fans are the most patient, understanding, and nurturing fans on earth ;-)
@TheNYRBlog have app THE Score, got a alert said breaking news Derrick Brassard. When I went to look couldn't find anything.
@jasonshyer @Betweentheworlds If you're thinking conventionally then yeah, not a hell of a lot of choices, but going outside the box for a moment, which generally doesn't happen with our "play it safe GM" there was Messier, who has a legacy for winning, though no one knew if he could coach (though in a way he got hands on experience in '94) - high risk but potential high reward there, though he's such a lunatic who knows if the team would have responded well to his "style". There's Gernander who's doing well for the Pack, heck there's even Nolan who could have been dragged out of his hole, I thought he was a fine coach, just hide the booze and women lol, then there's Sullivan (just kidding) and other possibilities I'm probably not thinking about but you know, easy for a fan to say who has nothing at stake but those who always play it safe usually lose. I for one think Mess would have been a risk worth exploring. anyway talk is just that. AV's the man now. I didn't like Torts as a coach as I found him too restrictive but I miss his personality here, as well as his passion and enthusiasm for the game. That was the first thing I thought would be lost with AV when they announced their decision. I hope I will be proven wrong.
@tsantoruvo Not sure.