Rangers loss was embarrassing but has Alain Vigneault lost the room?

NYR readying for game 4 (NYR)

Last night the Rangers put forth a performance that ranks among the worst by any team playing their first home game of the playoffs. Aside from Henrik Lundqvist who has been by a country mile, the Rangers best player in every game, no one was beyond criticism. That also goes for the head coach.

Alain Vigneault opened the game by shuffling his lines after the game 2 loss.

These lines lasted barely a half period before he reverted back to the game 2 lines. The only real change was Kevin Klein for Nick Holden who proceeded to turnover pucks and looked overmatched.To compound that issue, AV inexplicably broke up the Smith and Skjei pairing that was having tremendous success.

Still, the biggest issue I had with AV’s personnel decision was keeping the same lousy PP units together. At this point the Rangers are 0-10 on the man advantage and have mustered only 11 shots.

11 SHOTS ON 10 POWERPLAYS!

Seven Rangers have registered a shot on the man advantage with only 2 shots coming from a defenseman (Brady Skjei and Nick Holden). Four are tied for the lead with 2 shots each (Nash, Stepan, Zibanejad, and Hayes), with Zuccarello having the only other shot.

In contrast, the Canadiens are 2 for 10 a man up with 18 shots to their credit. Shea Weber also has a goal on 2 shots from the Montreal blueline. Bottom line, this was the difference in the game last night as the Rangers went 0-2 in a scoreless first period. Just one goal there and the entire complexion of the game changes.

Has AV lost this team?

At some point the question begs to be asked. John Tortorella lost this team and it led to a lackluster exit against Boston before being fired. Another no show performance by his stars and this should be discussed.

Today one reporter covering this series claimed that the Rangers were showing “low energy” during practice and AV was trying to get them going.

The reporter admitted to not seeing many previous Rangers’ practices so I reached out to several others and receive this reply.

Take from this what you will, but how do you explain the pitiful performance many Rangers put forth last night? How many times can you watch the top 3 lines and the PP units try and finesse their way into the zone only to be met by Canadiens’ jersey standing up at the line? I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of it.

Another Shakeup Coming?

At today’s practice, Alain Vigneault gave those watching several different looks. Two of note were what appears to be Nick Holden back with Marc Staal and Pavel Buchnevich on the PP. Will Holden return? Will Buchnevich take Tanner Glass’ spot or is AV going to scratch a player like Chris Kreider whom he called out before game 3? The answers are coming and they will be coming tomorrow.

As for AV losing the room…well we won’t know unless the Rangers get bounced in the first round and Jeff Gorton makes a shocking summer announcement. It may seem unlikely after AV signed an extension but anyone remember the name Jeff Fisher of the LA RAMS?

I know I may be overreacting…it’s not like Daryl Sutter is available or something.

Oh wait. Hmmmm.

10 comments

  • AV lost the room? Are you kidding me? And to come to this conclusion by using some hack who works at TSN 690 Montreal who hasn’t seen the Rangers practice until prob this week. Not 1 legitimate hockey source, someone who doesn’t list her priorities as kindness, jokes and high tolerance of carbs, has even whispered at this asinine thought. Yeah the Rangers came out w a lack luster performance, it happens. I bet you nobody has broached this about Joel Quinville whose Hawks have yet to score a playoff goal and lost games 1&2 at home.

    The series is 3 games old. Still a lot of hockey left to play. Stop with these ridiculous insertions of a coach losing his team. You critized another no name “hockey insider” who gave the Rangers a worse chance of advancing to the next round than Calgary who hasn’t in Anaheim since flip phones. Now you are jumping to unfounded conclusions because of Amanda Stein thought the Rangers practice was low level. Amanda Stein, WHO?

    Buch replacing Kreider in the lineup? I mean come on already. Yes Kreider is struggling, but that’s who you are going to put Buch in for. Hayes has been invisible, Miller has been terrible again in the playoffs but Kreider is coming out. This is a player who has the same amount of playoff goals since he’s come into the league as Sidney Crosby. Let that sink in, SIDNEY CROSBY. But he’s the player you will take out of the lineup.

    Ranger fans just completely lose their minds once the calendar turns to spring.

  • Wow Kreider has as many goals,as Cindy Crosby since coming onto the scene. I didn’t know that. I think he had more jump last might but he is a guy who seems to turn it on when he feels like it. I’m sure that’s not the case but it just seems that way. When is Hayes gonna wake up and most of all I keep hearing them talk about going to the net but they’re not really doing that much st all. Once in a while I see Kreider or Nash standing in front but I’m not seeing bodies in front scrambling for rebounds and causing havoc. I still think we’re the better team and would like to see them go all out and play with more urgency.

  • AV is suffering from amnesia. In training camp he played ZIb, Krieds and Buch on a line. It really clicked. That line was put to gather because Krieds spoke Russian making it easier for Buscnevich to adjust to the NHL. That line started the season and had great chemistry then riZibenajad and Buscnevich went down with injuries… has it ever dawn to our coach to reunite that for any length of time. He seems to have forgotten how that line played so well together

  • Eye issues make it very difficult for me to type. My apologies to readers. Thanks

  • This series was lost in 3rd period of game two when AV tried to protect a lead with a dump and change rather than a neutral zone trap because he is just a dumb coach that will never bring a cup to any franchise.There is no way to protect a one goal lead for an entire period with a dump and changes. Basic hockey 101

    • Rangers haven’t deployed a neutral zone trap since Roget Neilson. Which was the reason why he was fired because Messier hated the trap and wanted to play a high risk high reward style of game.

      Rangers lost because Grabner, Hayes and Mille failed numerous times to clear the puck.

      • They have had no flow since 3rd period of game 2 because he went to a dump and change for whole period. This collapse falls on him and his coaching staff ENTIRELY

        • 17.5 seconds away from walking out of Montreal with a 2-0 lead. Those 17.5 seconds would have ticked down if Grabner/Hayes/Miller would have cleared the puck out just once. Then the tired pairing of Holden and Staal could have changed to McD&G or Smith&Skjei. But Grabner/Hayes/Miller decided to be cute with the puck. That’s why the game was tied.

          • Because of 20 minutes of dump and change it was bound to happen again the fault of AV and his staff.

  • I have thought long and hard and I believe I have the answer as to why this team is like this. the issue is the thing between the ears. this is not a mentally tough team.They are like potato chips, a little pressure and they break. Example: How can you play great on the road and horrible at home? When they come home they are thinking the game instead of playing it. Why is the power play so bad? Because they are thinking about what to do instead of just doing it. If this was a bad team they would be so on the road and home, my friends this team has mental issues when they play at home and on the power.
    I love Mac Truck but in my opinion he isn’t a good captain (reminds me of Leetch) You can blame the coaches the system and anything else you want but this team has been consistently inconsistent for years. I’m watching this sport since 1962 and I believe they need a Sports Phycologist

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