The New York Rangers have had an identity over the past five years as being one of the most disciplined teams in the NHL. Now with a shift in coaches and cultures, the Rangers have shown terrible discipline in the preseason.
Alain Vigneault is a player’s coach. He is not the intimidating force that John Tortorella is. He is not going to go on screaming tirades after a player takes a penalty or glue them to the bench, but this is still no reason to stop playing the game the right way. Maybe it was just because it was the preseason, but if the Rangers keep taking as many penalties as they have been, it is going to be difficult for them to win games.
Most of the penalties the Rangers have been taking are just flat-out dumb. One that really pops out to me is seeing Chris Kreider actually skate right across the blue line and nail someone without the puck — a clear interference penalty as Kreider looked like he had barely touched the opposing player.
The Rangers’ penalty kill is not going to be at its best without Ryan Callahan or Carl Hagelin. Callahan will miss at least the opener and Hagelin will miss at least 10 games. The Rangers can’t afford to take stupid penalties with two of their top penalty killers out of the lineup.
It’s time for the Rangers players to stop being stupid and taking bad penalties. The team might want to hang onto the discipline it has had in years past.