Alain Vigneault is clearly not happy with the way the New York Rangers are playing right now. The head coach has been disappointed in his team’s pushback over the past few games, but even more of a story is the subtle messages he has been sending to the general manager, Glen Sather.
In Vigneault’s post game press conference last night he said that he didn’t have the personnel he wanted to play the style he wanted to play. This is the third or fourth time Vigneault has mentioned the personnel he has, or doesn’t have, in a post game press conference.
It is pretty obvious that this Rangers team doesn’t fit Vigneault’s style. This team was built for John Tortorella and had very little turnover since Sather fired Tortorella in May. The new players include Benoit Pouliot, Dominic Moore, Justin Falk, and Cam Talbot. Other than those four every player who is currently playing for the Rangers was selected by Tortorella to be on this team.
But in no way is this Vigneault’s fault, and some of the onus has to fall on the players’ shoulders as well. They are professional athletes and should be able to adapt to different systems. But some of these players don’t have the skill to play the up-tempo style Vigneault wants.
Sather needs to make some changes to this roster. The Rangers are not very physical and do not have many puck moving defenseman. Vigneault said it himself: besides Ryan McDonagh the defenseman have been weak. As for the forwards none of them have been able to string together consistent games.
The Rangers are now without captain Ryan Callahan for 4-6 weeks, and the roster might be experiencing some changes by the time he gets back. Clearly Vigneault is using his press conferences to send a message to Sather.