Tag Archives: brendan smith

Let’s Play The Blame Game

USA Today

There is something deeply engrained within the sports fan. Past passion, past excitement, past memories, past the ability to get oh so high from a trade that seems to go in your favor, right where irrationality meets frustration lays that dirty ugly five letter word, blame. The Rangers lose: polls run, who’s to blame? Beat writers search for the scapegoat, irrational fans go to their old favorites “That was definitely Girardi’s fault on defense and Stepan never put home that puck on the goal line.” But wait, it’s 2017. Those names are long gone, but still, the instinct is to blame and blame who or what’s comfortable.

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Alain Vigneault Doesn’t Know What To Do

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With this team in the midst of its’ worst start since 1980, Alain Vigneault is trying to find the combinations that will put his team in the best position to succeed. While the players deserve some of the blame for the Rangers’ 1-5 record, AV hasn’t exactly been aces either. Personally, I like giving coaches the benefit of the doubt, especially given the Rangers general success over the last few years under Vigneault. But the way this season has started, with the general ineptitude at times of his team and some of his decisions, it may be time for the 56-year-old head coach to be relieved of his duties. And we see a clear manifestation of this in his practice lines from today’s tune-up ahead of the Rangers matchup with the 3-2 Penguins tomorrow night.

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Opening Faceoff: Rangers vs. Blues 10/10/17

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On Saturday, the Rangers almost completed a fairy-tale comeback scoring four straight goals to tie the game at five a piece in the second period, before eventually falling to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The storyline of that game was defensive collapses. Three of the five goals scored in the first period came on poor defensive plays. The Rangers and their coaching staff knew that they had to improve. For the matchup against the Canadiens, the Rangers opted to play seven defensemen and eleven forwards; scratching Filip Chytil, who has seen little ice-time thus far throughout the season, and Brendan Smith, who had played a poor game against the Leafs. In place of Smith and Chytil, Alain Vigneault decided to play defensemen, Nick Holden and Steven Kampfer. In that game, The Rangers made less defensive mistakes and allowed Lundqvist to see the puck which ultimately led to a Rangers victory.

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