Going into this season, the New York Rangers were a team that tricked its fan base to think that former head coach John Tortorella was the reason for the Rangers’ shortcomings. Tortorella’s defensive/conservative style of play made some games last season unwatchable and the team struggled immensely to score goals.
Not thinking any of the players were at fault, GM Glen Sather decided to fire Tortorella and bring in Alain Vigneault in order to spark some offense to go along with their solid defense, which in turn would lead to many more wins and one of the top spots in the Eastern Conference.
Boy, they were wrong.
As a life-long Rangers fan, I always know something bad will happen and that nothing will go according to plan, so I wasn’t necessarily buying a Blackhawkian season out of the Rangers this year but I at least expected them to be somewhat competitive and make the playoffs. Well, eight games into the season, the Rangers have won only two games and scored a grand total of 12 goals. Even worse is that Vigneault shows absolutely no emotion and neither do the players.
You can sit there and make all the excuses you want that Rick Nash, Ryan Callahan, Carl Hagelin and Henrik Lundqvist are hurt but when there are a lot of injuries, it is up to the rest of the players on the team to step up and play heart and determination, and no one other than Brad Richards surprisingly, is doing that this season. I understand the Rangers have zero depth on this roster and do not have the talent right now but talent alone wins nothing and the limited amount of effort this team is showing is simply appalling and unforgivable.
Many things need to occur in order for the Rangers to save this season. First off, the Rangers should get rid of dead weight like Brian Boyle and Taylor Pyatt, then they should shop Michael Del Zotto for a scoring forward. Finally, they have to fire Vigneault and bring in a coach with some fire and passion, other than Tortorella of course, since he is doing fine with his new team, the Vancouver Canucks.
If you go up and down the Rangers roster, you will see the lack of offensive talent at every position and that is why this team just cannot play the offensive system that Vigneault wants. The Rangers need to have a fiery coach who holds players accountable and plays defense first in order to succeed. You can say this is radical thinking all you want but as a longtime Rangers fan, I want to see this team win and winning seems like a forgone conclusion already, eight games into the 2013-14 NHL regular season.
Calling Mark Messier…