Two years ago, the Rangers used a brutal preseason & early regular season schedule as an opportunity to bond and build chemistry, this year it looks like they're going to use it as an excuse.
Alain Vigneault (via New York Post):
“I agree that we’ve looked good at different points, but we haven’t been able to put together a full period or a full game,” Vigneault said. “I don’t want to give our team an excuse, but a lot of that has to do with our challenging training camp schedule.
“The game in Phoenix was only the second time we had even close to our full lineup together — we had most of the group in the [exhibition] game in Vancouver — and that’s made it difficult,” he said. “Everything takes time. This is no different."
...ummmm, Alain? You're the head coach. No one said you had to basically use split squads the entire preseason. You easily could have taken one game and plugged in what you thought was going to be the opening night line-up.
...nothing worse than hearing a head coach say "I don't want to make excuses, but...." because that's exactly what you're doing. Suck it up. Get these guys motivated. And let's get a win in Los Angeles.
And it looks like Vigneault's deflecting blame mindset is leaking into the locker room...
“We all know that hockey is a game of details,” Richards said. “With the travel out West and back home, and then back out here to California, it’s been a challenge."
...real challenging taking private charters and staying at five star hotels.
...i thought Richards worked on his game all summer, not his excuses.
...having said that, I thought he was one of the better Rangers Thursday night. Which is probably why they lost.
Here's more from Vigneault...
To watch at Blueshirts United, click here.
Who the f* cares about pre-season? excuses?? really??? This sounds to me like simple statements to appease the press and fans who are beyond ridiculous at this point. Inhale. Exhale. the world is not ending....
Only players who have heart on this team is Cally, Mac, Stall & Lundqvist, Nash tries....the rest suck esp Richards!
And BTW, AV's comments are clearly directed at the media and panicky fans to let them know that he wanted to evaluate players and is now trying to jell the team he chose, which will take more than 2 weeks if camp and 1 game. As far as the travel, it doesn't matter how stellar the accommodations, a body is not meant to be at 35,000 feet and doing so 3 times in a 10 day period will ABSOLUTELY have a physiological effect on even the most conditioned athletes!
It is ridiculous, the "sky is falling" stuff after one game.
For me, the only real legitimate concerns I have for this team right now is:
-we have no power forwards, guys who will crash the net and pay the price in the crease to score a goal. Maybe Cally can be that guy when he returns.
-we have no "tough" skilled guys who will make you think twice about running one of our players and is not a liability on the ice. Not talking about an enforcer/fighter, but someone like what Graves used to do, or like what Lucic currently does.
Basically, we need another Adam Graves. Is there anyone out there?
Wow, didn't expect it so soon...everyone out in the ledge! They're on pace for 0 points and 82 losses! On the bright side, the PP pace is 25%. Good lord, the pendulum of ridiculousness is dizzying!
Fire AV, bring back torts!! Trade Lundqvist and let Cally walk. Sign Hamrlik and Redden!!! 1st line D right there.
Watching the isles and jackets. Really miss dubi the guy plays so hard were really missing that Even anisimov,these are the depth guys we know can get it done here
Hey Kevin, the leader of a blog might be better served inspiring his readers rather than displaying persistent negativity day after day. The season is one game old and you appear to be throwing in the towel. Have a little patience before you rush to judgement.
i gotta say, all this negativity is starting to really bum me out. can we at least get to november before we fire AV and start the rebuilding process?
Leaders anywhere never ever talk like this.....after one game......after 10 games. Any leader knows every word he speaks, every action he takes is closely watched, closely monitored, closely tracked by every player in the entire organization. A leader with his words, is either somehow moving, motivating, inspiring the team FORWARD OR he is moving them backwards.
When a leader under any conditions and at any time blames circumstances for the performance/results of his team this early.......A BIG BIG BIG RED FLAG GOES UP!............YEP! IT'S BIG!
ACCOUNTABILITY.........NO MATTER WHAT.....NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCES!
@gravey94 Only problem with this logic is a profession called piloting. Pilots are professionals who often fly more than 3 times in a 10 day period, yet always have to perform 100% no matter what the weather. Professional athletes should be used to it, especially this team, since so many of these players came from Columbus, which was the furthest east team in the western conference. By their standards, this season's travel is cakewalk. I do think AV is in the evaluation process, but I do not buy the travel excuse as much as I buy the evaluation process.
@gravey94 Totally agree that there's merit to AV and Richards' comments, I still didn't like hearing excuses. Specifically remember Torts saying he wouldn't allow the players to give excuses about travel to Europe and then Western Canada back in 2011-12.
@shoot_the_goalie this is going to be a challenge as you say but it may not be insurmountable. If you figure that last year's team lost some heart due to scorn with their coach than it becomes the job of this current coach to bring out these qualities in our current players that you say is lacking. These are hockey players who know what it takes to score in this league. I don't buy this "victim mentality" I'm a small guy who use to kick box, sometimes against bigger, stronger and even more skilled opponents yet I always won my fights or earned a draw, because I trained heard and figured out how to overcome my deficits and win. If you're lacking in something you figure it out and improve in those areas. We need warriors on this team, not victims and a coaching staff who knows how to bring out these qualities, especially when you consider that we will get like zero help from slats
@gravey94 I dont know if you certainly can say its ridiculous to be worrisome. If you saw the game they were outplayed the entire game. Not just a period, I dont think there was a single span of time where we kept pressure on Pheonix. Our defensive zones are a mess, they just walked down the middle of our zone without any issues and our PK is disgusting. But yes atleast our PP looks decent and maybe if we can maintain the puck our offense will look decent
@shishya100 I mean it is understandable to be aggravated with the way this team is run. 2 years ago we make a huge run to the conference finals first time since 97. We blow that whole team up to get nash, iknow nash is a great player even though we havent seen it but still we trade away a big part of the core (dubi,Anisimov) which eventually leads not resigning prust, mitchel and fedotenko then to firing tortorella and getting rid of gaborik. Thats alot of changes for a relentless team that was 2 games away from making the cup. Just saying but who knows what will happen this year maybe it will all work out
@shishya100 Am I supposed to praise AV for blaming the road trip for the team's inconsistencies?
Not once have I said fire AV, or bring back Torts or the Rangers are done.
Just posted on what the head coach and alternate captain of the Rangers said and commented on it.
One Cup in 73 years gives myself and anyone else the right to criticize anything about this franchise.
Having said that, anyone saying the season is over after one game, is way too Chicken Littleish.
@Free Lindberg Is he gonna leave if he doesn't make head coach in two years?
@cb1 even to me its getting extreme. Lets keep it to buying out Richards, trading del zotto, and making fun of Pyatt. If you thought the Rangers were going to start off going 9-0 on this road trip, you were sorely mistaken.
Its all part of the process.
@EHBIGAPPLE Quite so! And it only speaks to my comment of yesterday. I remain hopeful, but I am not optimistic.
1. sitting in a cockpit is quite different then playing hockey.
2. Metro teams have it easy in the travel dept. think "Edmonton" in the middle of "bum-fuck nowhere" every road game is a long flight yet there was a time when they won the cup, like every year. Yes, you get use to it but still it does effect the body regardless of conditioning etc. , and hockey players rely on their bodies, I'd say a bit more than pilots.
3. Excuse vs. "reason". there is a difference. Fans and press need to get laid and chill out.
(interesting conversation - just my 2 cents)
Last I checked, pilots fly and then have mandatory down time. Athletes fly and then have to go out and play at their best a short time later. Travel in any profession causes a physiological effect.
I see them as reasons not excuses. If they are saying the same thing in 2 weeks, then it's an excuse.
@Betweentheworlds @shoot_the_goalie Understand your points, but teams are built with separate unique parts for a reason. I think this was a big shortcoming in Torts' coaching, believing he could turn any player into a hard nose, grind it out, shot blocker instead of getting out the best he could from each players' strengths. To play like a Callahan/Graves you need to be raised/play like a Callahan/Graves all your life, you can't be come one overnight.
Many times on the blog I hear people say things like Boyle/ Kreider/Nash with their size should be pummeling players into the boards and knocking down heavyweights day in day out. These 3 guys, before NHL, were scorers their whole hockey careers, and didn't need to be the grinders, the enforcers, the muckers. The mentality of a player has little to do with size and is more reliant on a mindset that is instilled over time.
Theo Fleury was 5'- 6", and he used to throw some of the most ferocious body checks I ever saw for a small guy. It was in his makeup, to hit everything he could, to make everyone pay a price. He was like the NHL version of "Rudy" in that regards, but he also had talent.
The NYR sorely lack that type of player, a guy who can chip in goals on a consistent basis but is also is willing to hit everything in sight, making others think twice in the process (a la Graves). The closest thing they have to that right now is Cally (Dubi had some of these traits)
It's up to Slats to find that guy, not AV to turn one of our guys into that player, cause the latter I don't think is a realistic scenario.
1) buyout richards
2) Trade DZ
3) Just plain make fun of Pyatt
If anyone thought we were going to jump out and start 9-0, sorry to burst your bubble, but there is an adjustment period for every new coach and team. Think with time we will be just fine. Would love to see him help the PK though
@Betweentheworlds @EHBIGAPPLE @gravey94 @shoot_the_goalie Hey betweentheworlds go to my website clevelsmarts.com....check it out. I might be able to offer coaching and support in helping you reach your goal.....totally gratis, of course. Let me know and I mean it! And you are right there are no coincidences in life....we always get what we focus on....always!
@EHBIGAPPLE @Betweentheworlds @gravey94 @shoot_the_goalie Thanks EH - I never would have kick boxed if my instructor hadn't pushed me into it. Not really what I studied the martial arts for but as you noted it was great experience for life - the point in bringing the conversation back to hockey for a moment is that you can overcome deficits and still come out on top as our current roster would certainly be a "cindarella team" if we made it to the finals - I was the "undersized" one, and only moderately skilled but I either won or earned draws in all my fights. My teacher told me I was a lousy fighter but when I pointed out that I won most of the fights he'd say "they are even worse" lol. Anyway not to divert any attention to me personally but really nothing I've done is extraordinary, and anyone could do the same but I don't believe in coincidences and your compliments are very timely as I'm attempting to create something in my life now that if successful will require more courage than anything I've ever done. The "heart of a champion" will truly be needed. Thanks bro
@Betweentheworlds @gravey94 @EHBIGAPPLE @shoot_the_goalie Yo! betweentheworlds like what you learned about yourself from kick boxing. I respect your courage and self leadership. A lot of people read The Four Agreements (was a NY Times best seller) Few people have the courage to apply its principals directly to their own life.....more respect to you!
I recommend to you a book titled "Bounce" by Matthew Syed, a wold-class table tennis Champ. Shows the relationship of our own thinking with our success in any chosen field.
When I get to NYC I will look you up for a couple of beers (all on me). You got the heart of a Champion!
@gravey94 @EHBIGAPPLE @shoot_the_goalie I am sure all of what you say is true for you. Perhaps you might entertain that all of what you say might not be true for other people simply because other people don't think the same way you do.
If you think you can or if you think you can't .....you are right! If you think you will be tired or if you think you will be refreshed.....you are right!
@gravey94 @EHBIGAPPLE @shoot_the_goalie Have you guys read the book "The 4 Agreements" by don Miguel Ruiz? It's a book on spirituality/warriorship but applicable to day to day life. the 2nd agreement is "always do your best" meaning that no matter what life throws at you your job as a "warrior", or in this case a professional hockey player is simply to do your best without worry about the adversity in the moment.. this simple philosophy takes the guesswork out of life, as well as the complaining, victim mentality, excuses etc. as well it is what separates a good athlete from a world class one. The MIND. Is Gravey correct in his statements? Absolutely. 100%. but at least in the short term the mind can overcome physical barriers and especially trained athletes can perform at 99% under the rigors of travel, lack of rest etc. though in time if they don't take care of themselves the body will wear down. I know this personally from my years as an amateur kick boxer. I could feel like utter shit but once that bell rang nothing mattered except winning that fight and usually I did. This is an interesting conversation - hope you guys don't mind me butting in.
@EHBIGAPPLE @shoot_the_goalie @gravey94 Not sure if you have kids or not, but I can tell you first hand that the fatigue that comes from taking care of babies, or kids when they're older is not "perceived" it is very real indeed. Does it mean that you give up feeding a baby because they wake you up at 2am...absolutely not. Does it mean that you would not be able to perform at your peak level the next morning because you are fatigued....absolutely. Sure, you can persevere and not give up, but even if you do you are not going be at the highest level possible. You just can't will away physiological effects. Same goes true for a team that flies 9,000 miles, plays 6 hockey games, and goes from 36 feet to 3,556 feet, to 2,201 feet to 206 feet to 2,000 feet to 200 feet to 1,117 feet above sea level in 15 days. There are going to be physiological effects that prevent them from playing at their peak. Add that to playing a team that did not travel and playing them in their building and I would think characterizing it as "challenging" is a fair assessment. "You can't exceed your limits until you know what it is you're exceeding." - me ;-)
Here is the point in Hockey and in life......."We see the world not as it is but as we think it is."
Another way of saying this is "The world (travel in this case or fatigue or anything else) will be experienced by each of us exactly in the way we willfully choose to think about that experience."
If we think it will be tiring it will be tiring.....If we think it will be a positive motivating force it will be a positive motivating force. What each of us experience in our world is a direct reflection of how we think about that experience. That is ultimate accountability! That is Warrior Thinking that betweentheworlds so wisely talks about.
That is what Vince Lombardi meant when he said, "Fatigue makes cowards of us all."
AV and Richards are setting up their team for more failure with their words and their thinking. It is "sissified victim" talk.
@EHBIGAPPLE @gravey94 It's a compliment to some players who were successful to be considered these mythical "legends" who never hurt, never experienced pain, never cried, etc. For us NYR fans it's Mess, Graves, Leetch, Cally, etc. In general, you can throw in M. Jordan, etc.
But all athletes hurt. All athletes need rest, and all athletes need recovery, and gravey's point is well taken that travel will affect you, some more than others. Players don't just "brush it off", the difference is some players talk about it and other do not. In this case, I agree, Richie was just being honest, and some fans are vilifying him for it. (and most likely cause he's been such a disappointment - if he's potting 40 goals, 100 pts a season, no one even notices this quote as him making an excuse)
@gravey94 yes....you are right!....feel better!?
First off, you can stop being so sanctimonious with your all caps sentences. You come off as ignorant. Second, unless you are a close personal friend of Messrs. Messier and Graves, I'm not sure how you can presume to know who they would or wouldn't have played for. Thirdly, the comments about travel were made by Brad Richards who is a player in the NY Rangers not their head coach. And finally, the effects if flying 9,000 miles in less than 10 days are not my "opinion", they are facts. Not sure if you've ever flown cross country before but I have and it knocks the cap out of you. I've never done 3 such trips so close, but I imagine the effects would be magnified. And, as I mentioned in a previous post, Richards is not using it as an excuse, he's simply stating a fact. I guess it would be more acceptable for you if he said "we didn't play well, we need to do better". Personally I prefer the honesty that the travel hurt them.
@gravey94 Do you think Adam Graves and Mark Messier would want to play for a coach who THOUGHT LIKE YOU ABOUT TRAVEL.....ABOUT TIME ZONES......ABOUT 60 MINUTE HOCKEY GAMES........ABOUT FATIGUE ETC.?????????
Nobody is saying they're not accountable. 9,000 travel miles in less than 10 days seems like a bit more than normal to me. When you've done that and then played a 60 minute hockey game against a team 2 time zones away from your home let me know. I'd be curious to hear another perspective.
@gravey94 I realize they pilots have mandatory down time, and yes travel does have a psychological effect, but I just want them to play their best, which hopefully they do, and not make excuses. The Detroit Red Wings, just like the Blue Jackets, had awful travel schedules and they are highly successful with 11 Cups. With that said, learning a new system will take time, a lot of time as AV's system is drastically different than Tort's system.
@gravey94 Your namesake would be the first to DISAGREE with you. It is all about accountability!......read what follows slowly.
If you think you can or if you think you can't your right!
Fleury was one of my favorite players ( before alcoholism undermined his game) as well as Verbeek. These were 2 small guys who were strong as oxes and played a tough game
@Wallace1 huh? good guy? how is that relevant? who cares if he is a good guy. he cannot surprise anyone. and also, you contradicted yourself in terms of his ability in one short paragraph.