When Alain Vigneault was hired as the new head coach of the New York Rangers, everyone was saying that now the Rangers will start scoring more goals, become an elite team and a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
We were wrong.
We all forgot to take into consideration that the Rangers’ defensemen were built by John Tortorella‘s system and cannot handle playing up tempo and always pinching in like Vigneault wants.
I’ve seen the Rangers give up more odd man rushes this season than in all the years that Tortorella was the head coach combined.
It is now December and the Rangers have had months to adjust to Vigneault’s system and all they are consistently showing us is inconsistency and .500 mediocre hockey. It is just becoming more and more obvious that Vigneault was the wrong hire.
Now even though I believe Vigneault was the wrong hire, I do not think this is his fault.
So who should take the blame you ask?
That falls squarely on the shoulders of Rangers’ GM Glen Sather. He fired a defensive minded coach in Tortorella and hires a coach with a completely different philosophy on how he wants his team to execute on the ice and Sather does virtually nothing to give Vigneault the players he needs to fit his system.
You cannot just have a defensive-minded team, then hire an offensive coach and expect a team with mostly the same players to start scoring goals at will.
This is not a movie. This is real life and Sather has failed to have a grasp on reality for quite some time now.