Season’s Fate Is In the Hands of the Rangers Players, Not Alain Vigneault

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Alain Vigneault has certainly earned the criticism levied against him for the Rangers’ crushing defeats in Game 2 and Game 5 in Ottawa. It’s fair to argue that if the Blueshirts fail to turn this series around that the coach should be handed his walking papers. I certainly think he should.

But in hockey, a coach’s role in his team’s success or failure is very difficult to quantify. Hockey is an extremely fast and fluid sport, where the onus is primarily on the players to put forth the requisite effort, but also execute in their plays and positioning with and without the puck. It’s a read-and-react sport, and those reads need to be made while playing at a breathtakingly quick pace. Yes, Vigneault could certainly help the cause by putting the best players on the ice in the right situations, but it’s also not his fault that this happened:

Block the damn pass!

The Rangers forwards on the ice for this play – Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello, and Tanner Glass – handled this about as poorly as they possibly could have. While I’m no expert, I can tell you right now that of all the things you need to prevent in this situation, a diagonal, cross-ice pass is right at the top of the list. For a team that talks ad nauseam about “structure”, this play shows an alarming lack of it.

Stepan leads the list of Rangers who are underperforming in the playoffs and ultimately, that’s what this season is going to come down to. As has often been the case over the course of the last decade, the best skater in this playoff series is on the opponent’s roster (even though he’s clearly injured, it’s Erik Karlsson). And while Jeff Gorton should be commended for revamping the Rangers by amassing superior forward depth to cover up for the team’s defensive deficiencies, that depth means nothing if a preponderance of the “top guys” fail to show up.

JT Miller and Kevin Hayes have yet to score. Rick Nash – who may very well be dealing with an injury, considering his conspicuous absence from recent practices – has slowed down since his hot start against Montreal. Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad have been inconsistent. Among the forwards, only Mats Zuccarello has brought his best effort consistently throughout the postseason, and it seems as though the Norwegian is becoming frustrated with the uneven play from his teammates. His comments in Sunday’s New York Post certainly came off as a bit accusatory.

Players like Oscar Lindberg, Michael Grabner, Jesper Fast, and even Glass deserve the praise they’ve received, but the hard truth is that if those are your best forwards, you probably don’t deserve to advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.   And this is all to say nothing about a defense that, without Henrik Lundqvist behind it, probably wouldn’t have been good enough to even qualify for the playoffs.

Time is running out. The Rangers’ season is at a crossroads, and could end on Tuesday unless their top players begin to elevate their games.

"Season's Fate Is In the Hands of the Rangers Players, Not Alain Vigneault", 5 out of 5 based on 14 ratings.

72 thoughts on “Season’s Fate Is In the Hands of the Rangers Players, Not Alain Vigneault

  • May 8, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Rob, saying that AV should lose his job if they don’t win thus playoff series is utter nonsense. Firing a coach that gets a flawed team thus far makes no sense whatsoever.

    Saying that the only Ranger forward to put up consistent effort is Zucc is likewise nonsense. Fast, Lindbergh, Grabner and Glass have been bringing it during the entire playoff run too.

    • May 8, 2017 at 8:12 am

      He said TOP forward.

    • May 8, 2017 at 10:07 am

      The only person that is flawed is the coach. He makes mistakes without retribution.It’s just criminal!

      • May 8, 2017 at 10:16 am

        The team is flawed, but the coach is not helping by emphasizing those flaws. The team blew 2 goal leads in games 2 and 5 primarily due to awful deployments by the coach. This series should have been over in 5 games.

  • May 8, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Player accountability.


    • May 8, 2017 at 10:08 am

      You can’t be held accountable if the coach does not put you in a position to win or excel!

      • May 8, 2017 at 10:29 am

        Do you honestly feel that it’s acceptable to exonerate player performance of professional NHL athletes because they “weren’t put in a position to excel”?

        Not only is that claim itself a specious reasoning, but even if it were true, up and down the lineup players haven’t got the job done. There is no amount of “not putting them in a position to excel” that can masque that.

      • May 8, 2017 at 11:30 am

        So the coach didn’t play the right players in the final minutes of the game. That makes it OK Stepan, Nash, JT, Hayes, and practically everyone else sucked for the preceding 58 minutes? I can’t wait for this guy to be fired (whenever that is) so they can hire “the next coach that everyone will blame for this teams problems”.

        • May 8, 2017 at 2:53 pm

          I still say they should give Messier a shot of coaching this team. They can’t do worse. He’s been an on ice leader for a long time, it’s worth the try to put him behind the bench.

      • May 8, 2017 at 11:50 am

        Think of a coach as a Potter. He takes the clay and creates his masterpiece.
        AV the Potter, is blaming the clay for his inability to make a Cup, a Stanley Cup.
        Give the job to a better Potter and he can avoid the simple mistakes that cost us the games.
        It is that simple.

        • May 8, 2017 at 2:31 pm

          Well that fits in perfectly with you view of the game of hockey. The clay has zero responsibility for the outcome because it’s freaking clay. Not 20 human beings.

          • May 8, 2017 at 4:16 pm

            I should not try to give pearls of wisdom to those who will trample it under foot.

  • May 8, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Ottawa has had their stars play like stars and we have been waiting for most of our top 6 to play like stars. This is evident in the last 10 minutes of almost every game. Gone are the days where your guys won a faceoff, controlled the puck and drove to the net and held it in the zone for 40 seconds. Oh I did see that happen, it was Ottawa.

    We ice the puck and try again. Or we play with less passion then the Senators.

    Does AV keep the same guys out too long? Sure does, but who on that bench has shown heart in the previous 55 minutes to warrant those last 5?

    • May 8, 2017 at 10:51 am

      Certainly not Stepan or Staal that’s for sure…

  • May 8, 2017 at 8:05 am

    It’s that time of the season, where the players have to prove of what they are made of!!!! Some will get uptight, and choke. Some will get pissed off, and bust their tails, giving their best due to pride. Tonight, we will see what this team is made of.

    The crowd will be into it, assuming that an effort is really given by same players, the ones with pride. Let’s see how the “stars” perform, or will they choke their chickens????? This could be Dan, and Staal’s last game for this franchise, let’s see them go out in style!!!!!!!! Let’s hope that management watches Daisy Step closely, and realizes he isn’t worth the money being paid, and dumps him like a hot potato!!!!!!!!!!

    • May 8, 2017 at 10:13 am

      We have one of the best choking stars in Lumpquist.Talbot where are you? Oh ya, he was not expensive and nonproductive enough to be on the team.

      • May 8, 2017 at 10:52 am

        Talbot can’t hold Hanks jockstrap now stfu and move on already

        • May 8, 2017 at 11:32 am

          I bet you Talbot gets a Cup and Hank doesn’t.

          • May 8, 2017 at 11:47 am

            I’ll take that bet. The loser never posts on here again? Deal?

            • May 8, 2017 at 11:56 am

              I’ll give you a free salt therapy treatment for your health. All you would need to do when you lose is to be a nicer person.

              • May 8, 2017 at 3:21 pm

                He could not possibly do that. A leopard can not change it’s spots as well as this guy can not be a nicer person. A prick is a prick!

      • May 8, 2017 at 12:20 pm

        Hard to listen to a guy that, in the same sentence, manages to piss off just about everyone reading this with an unfathomable disregard for the truth.

        This sh!t isn’t on 30. And, while it * IS * AV’s fault that guys like Tanner & Staal keep finding their way out there when it matters…..

        it’s NOT his fault, however, that the level of compete in the room is probably lower than what you’d find on a Tennis Court (singles, for the record).

        Speaking of choke, how’d you like game 5 of EDM-ANA?

        • May 8, 2017 at 1:02 pm

          No one should ever touch the rails that make people stop thinking. I like Lupmqiust, I just think he is good but not great. When Lumpy is not Great like the last game, I would not mind seeing the backup who might increase the compete level for the team.
          Hank does deserve some of the blame when they lose. I do think it’s mostly on the coach who put us in the position to lose.

          • May 8, 2017 at 1:10 pm

            “I like *retracted*, I just think he is good but not great”

            You know, my first response to this is, honestly, an unequivocal L O L….. problem is, that won’t relieve you of your ignorance,

            Sigh,…… here we go again…. (thanks to richter1994 for the link)


            and, again, to further reiterate that your ‘opinion’ has no factual basis whatsoever….



            Like I said, Rock, it’s very hard to take anyone seriously who marches in here spouting such idiocy.

          • May 8, 2017 at 3:24 pm

            That’s just my problem with you – there’s no thinking being done whatsoever.

            Put in the backup to increase their ‘compete level’…? That makes sense… play the inferior player so that we can ‘inspire’ the bads to collectively give a damn?


            The post I made a couple of hours ago still hasn’t gone up (it contains links to other sites which explicitly prove how ridiculous you’re being in regards to 30). Hopefully a mod can check it out so my prior response may finally appear.

            • May 8, 2017 at 4:39 pm

              You can’t say no thinking? I also use the eye test which he gets a c+.
              In the thinking department, I would give you a c to be kind.
              I like math and you can use it in many nefarious ways. Put garbage in, get garbage out.

              • May 8, 2017 at 5:49 pm

                You claim to like math, yet, things like (for example) last year’s PK letting an AVG shot distance against of 12 feet (as opposed to 24 feet; league-leading CHI’s pk had that) are, just, nonfactors?

                That the man should legitimately be blamed for, as someone else put it, not being ‘legendary’? That he only stands on his head, in say, five games (instead of seven) in a series?

                Did you even BOTHER to look at what I posted before (any of the three links)?

                Ugh, you damned crab people…….. I just don’t get it!

          • May 8, 2017 at 3:28 pm

            You are spot on with regards to Hank, he is a great goalie but somehow find a way to let in a stinker and manage to lose the game. He is no Richter and never will be but then again I’m old school hockey.

            • May 8, 2017 at 6:18 pm

              You are right…he’s no Richter. He is WAY better than Richter and it’s not even close. Richter was very, very good and won a Cup on a GREAT team. Hank is GREAT and is trying to win a Cup on a team that is good but has NO great players.

              Look at Richter’s career. Seriously, I loved the guy, but there is NO comparison.

              • May 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm

                Your right we can not compare. We now have parity compared with dynasties.
                I would like many give up all the fake stats for 1 Cup!
                I am not comparing 200 games I am talking about the present which some people get lost in the past. Maybe its time to retire. Not Hank but E3.

              • May 8, 2017 at 9:58 pm

                No, what E3 says (sometimes?) makes sense.

                You, on the other hand…. it’s best summed up like this

                (and, really, it’s nothing personal; anyone else who, in the face of all reason, also assumes the insane position you have that we should blame #30 for this idiocy…)

                I say, simply this…


  • May 8, 2017 at 8:22 am

    tommorrow night game 6 which ny rangers team will show up will it be the team that beat this team in games 3 and 4 or I will we see an Ottawa team determined to wrap the series up here. and will big game brass make another appearance?

  • May 8, 2017 at 8:24 am

    tomorrow night game six which team will show up? will it be the rangers who beat the sens in games 3 and 4 or the sens team that beat them at their house on Saturday spurred on by brass and turris we will see

  • May 8, 2017 at 8:37 am

    they had the wrong guys when Anderson left the net and brass was out as 6th attacker and he scored a pretty goal which tied it so again this team can’t hold a lead can they save their season we will see

    • May 8, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      I wouldn’t bet on it Amy.

  • May 8, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Gone are the days of Graves and Messier who wanted the puck on their stick in the last minute of the game, and if they didn’t have it, they made others pay dearly. Now, we can’t catch up to the other guys, even though we know we know where it is going to be passed around to.

    Our only hope is to have a 4 goal lead with 3 minutes to play, and even then, I cringe when we dump and fall back.

    • May 8, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Yeah you need a actual 6.5 top center to see that type of confidence of wanting to be the man. At this point I hope Gorton would be first in line to acquire Getzlaf this summer if the Ducks want to rebuild here soon. It would do wonders for guys like Hayes and Zib to have that kind of vet around them on the bench and after practice.

  • May 8, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Let’s agree to disagree.
    The players tomorrow should have a referendum on the coach. Play well and keep your coach. Play without passion and Keep your coach.
    So it does not matter, win or lose you lose!
    At least if you play hard you have your self-respect.
    AV, your a stupid SOB! I hate you! Do the right thing and quit.
    Good luck!

    • May 8, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Do yourself a favor and grow up.

      • May 8, 2017 at 11:33 am

        Sorry I disagree!

  • May 8, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Coach needs to go either way!

    Too many blunders , poor personnel decisions during games , ‘losing guys on the bench’ , repeating same mistakes in crunch time…
    Track record in playoffs is BAD…..brought 2 or 3 presidents trophy winning teams into playoffs as well as top 5 rated team 4,5 6 ? times and always loses!
    We are playing the 2 worst teams in the playoffs and ottowas best player is hurt! And we are on verge of losing! His vancouver teams were favorites to win cup twice!

    Compare AV to Peter Laviolette now bringing his 3rd different team to the conference finals……all underdogs going into playoffs!!!

    • May 8, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Good point; I don’t know of any other ‘good’ coaches who would agree with the decisions being made here.

      • May 8, 2017 at 2:13 pm

        come come now, this man is a future HOFer, barf!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • May 8, 2017 at 4:22 pm

          I’ll give him this – when they *throws up in mouth ever so slightly* toss him in there, I hope this happens….

          In his little corner, they give him his rightful due as this – being a master in the ways of the old adage, the ‘right place at the right time’.

          • May 8, 2017 at 7:23 pm

            maybe being said this way: “right place at the right time, but still couldn’t deliver the big one”, that my friend is much more accurate!!!!!!!!

  • May 8, 2017 at 10:31 am

    All this negativity in the comments section is disheartening. If you don’t root for them when they lose, you don’t deserve to root for them when they win.

    • May 8, 2017 at 10:49 am

      I’m usually Mr Optimist around here, and I’ll still say this: I’m not aware of a single poster on this board who doesn’t root for this team through thick and thin. Sure, they may not be optimistic about their chances, they may criticize and rip on the team, or the coaches, or management after a loss that they feel shouldn’t have occurred, and I often disagree with these sentiments, but, negativity is not the same thing as not rooting for the team.

      People are entitled to their own way of dealing with a loss, whether it’s looking for the positive signs and staying optimistic, or dwelling on the negative and remaining pessimistic. Neither of those approaches prevents you from still going out and rooting for success when the puck drops the for the next game.

      • May 8, 2017 at 11:00 am

        Lol you always have to be optimistic when you think Stepan is a “playoff performer”, cheers to you and your therapy ways.

      • May 8, 2017 at 11:04 am

        Well stated Chris. Some of us are optimists, some pessimists and some realists. The common denominating factor is that we all WANT the Rangers to win.
        Again Chris, well said.

      • May 8, 2017 at 11:11 am

        Look, I want to be positive, and I want them to win and I think they will, but guys like Nash and Stepan and JT and Hayes need to do a lot more. You can say that they are playing against their top defense, and that is why our bottom 6 are doing better, but sooner or latter they have to have a big shift, and they just don’t.

        Maybe they are tired or banged up. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but there is no time for doubt. I may actually put Buch back in for Glass tomorrow just to add the speed element. Yes Glass has heart, but I want to put someone OTHER than Glass on the ice in the final 3 minutes.

        • May 8, 2017 at 11:24 am

          Yeah, I’ve been pretty patient with AV on his Glass vs Buchnevich decisions, but I do feel that tomorrow, you have to ice the most skilled team you can, and that means Buchnevich.

          If we go down, I want to go down knowing that our best players were out there. I don’t want to be wondering,”what if?”

          • May 8, 2017 at 2:09 pm

            I mean, Buch hasn’t done much for the team when he’s played, though. Let’s be real. Tanner Glass, at this particular moment, may actually be the better option. He’s played very well and set a tone. The Rangers aren’t trailing because a lack of goal scoring. It because of bad defense late in games on the road. Buch is not going to help the team out in his own end.

            • May 8, 2017 at 2:13 pm

              ” Buch is not going to help the team out in his own end.”

              Because Tanner did such an excellent job of that last game in the third…..

              For the (broken) record, we are sitting a kid who put up numbers reminiscent of TARASENKO & KUZNETSOV at the same age in the KHL.

              If for nothing less than that, I think it’s nuts that we haven’t tried to play this kid as much as we could this year.

              • May 8, 2017 at 2:32 pm

                I’m not discounting Buch, but the team doesn’t need to make adjustments to amp up the scoring. They need to do something to benefit the defensive play. Replacing a physical, hard-hitting grinder with a playmaking rookie still acclimating to the North American game isn’t going to benefit the porous defense.

              • May 8, 2017 at 2:42 pm

                No, you’re right, it won’t fix the defense, but it is still criminally insane to leave him on the bench.

                The kid put up better numbers (points per 60; good metric to account for playing time differences) than all but three or four of our forwards. He had (last time I checked) 2.39 p/60…… that is actually quite good (relative to the entire league).

                For relative comparison, Vesey, who had a pretty good first season & played similar levels of competition, had something in the mid 1’s (1.6ish I think).

                Point is, we’re nuts for sitting that kid for a guy with 15 pts in 59 AHL matches this year….. when we COULD be letting someone like HockeyBot-5000 recharge a bit by running 13f / 5d.

      • May 8, 2017 at 11:38 am

        Today I like you F.

        • May 8, 2017 at 12:24 pm

          There’s always tomorrow 😉

      • May 8, 2017 at 2:15 pm


        Well said !!!!!!!

      • May 9, 2017 at 6:20 am

        perfectly said

  • May 8, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Yes it’s in the players hands also the coaches who have to put the right people in the right situations. I have to say Fasth, Lindbergh and Grabner must be protected in the upcoming draft. Expose Stepan if he can’t be traded because he’s not a team player and he’s so overrated and paid. This guy floats while others do the hard work. He’s gets points off of others hard work. He doesn’t go to the net where the majority of the goals in the playoffs are scored. Av keeps giving this guy top minutes Ozone starts power play time. Av is so stubborn that he continues to lean on guys who best are done. Others are performing better and have earned the right to play in more situations. How about letting Smith and McD close out games together? This team must win the next two if they are to move on. Mika, Lindbergh and Hayes should get top center ice minutes. If you have to double shift Lindbergh or Mika so be it but Stepan is a piece of shit. I said last and this year the old core should’ve been broken up. The team should’ve been given to the young guys, the new young core. The young guys are working hard and doing their jobs. Yes, they may not be scoring but they are driving in other ways that the playoffs. Stepan the Rangers second highest paid forward hasn’t done anything. Others are driving hitting playing the price forcing pace while this guy floats looking for garbage. Drivers win in the playoffs no passengers allowed.

    • May 8, 2017 at 11:13 am

      I think the Stepan fans should enjoy these last days to watch him skate in the NYR sweater. He will have a much tougher time collecting those checks on a new team. The Rangers have a rich team at the end of the day. I would imagine a good system, depth, top 3 3rd line center and a goalie who bails everyone out is any 1c dream to play in. Unless he goes on a team like Pitts or Chicago which will never happen but either way I see him getting bought no later then 29 yr old if he gets traded this summer. Teams like Minnesota won’t give up there young depth for him and after last summer I doubt that someone like Parise would ever vouch to want to see that trade. It will be very interesting to see what teams bite down hard to get him through trade especially in this cap era.

    • May 8, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Add to the fact that Hayes sees the most DZ starts so Stepan must be seeing a abundance of favored OZ starts. Why they took Buch off to play fit in Glass and put stationary Stepan back on the top PP is a true hate crime. He still hasn’t scored on home ice with a goalie in net since round 2 of the 2015 playoffs. It reminded me of when after his 1st game he went 18 games scoreless.

  • May 8, 2017 at 11:07 am


    While I appreciate you attempting to strike a compromising stance on the issue of who’s to blame for the Rangers being down 3-2 in this series –or rather, who needs to be responsible for turning it around– do you really believe AV deserves to be fired if the Rangers don’t advance?

    This is a team that wasn’t even a lock to make the playoffs this year. You mention their “defensive deficiencies,” but really think about that: going into this season we had McDonagh and Skjei to rely on, but beyond that, we had Staal and Girardi, who are well past their prime and who both had a rough couple of seasons previously, and then we have Holden, who we really didn’t know what we’d get from him, and then a completely depreciated Kevin Klein. There wasn’t a single reason to be hopeful about that blueline.

    But, sure, Gorton did a good job off amassing forward depth to compensate for that, but yet you also acknowledge this depth is meaningless if the top forwards don’t show up, which they largely haven’t.

    So, considering all that, how can you still feel the coach should be fired for not getting this team past the 2nd round?

    • May 8, 2017 at 11:33 am

      If you read between the lines, I think Rob is saying the players need to step up because AV is never going to adjust even if his team’s playoff life depends on it. So it still seems like an indictment of our pathetic, overrated coach.

    • May 8, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Good question there Chris…. I think the problem is this, I think….

      If AV actually agrees (obviously impossible to know) with the things here that are said in regards to the sub-optimal lineups & deployments, TurtleTime sinking the ship (sitting back with a lead & coughing it up only to lose), players with relatively little compete in them ….. then it’s not entirely his fault. In this (obviously very) hypothetical situation, then yes, much of what I say would, actually, be a misdirected gripe.

      That is to say, if management is forcing him into playing guys like Girardi, Staal, et al (to, for example, keep what little air is left in their figurative & imaginary trade-value balloons, so to speak), then yeah, I’d say he’s a better coach than I give him credit for. Obviously that almost certainly isn’t true but ….

      My point is, whoever doesn’t recognize (in that front office) what is obvious to most people… well…. at the very LEAST, they need to have their heads examined.

      • May 8, 2017 at 2:02 pm

        Also, for the record, is there even a snowball’s chance in hell of an edit button coming to this site anytime soon?

        That first sentence… ><

  • May 8, 2017 at 11:49 am

    The coach can only maneuver so much. Look at the heart Vesey showed on that 4th goal on Saturday. He gave the kid late 3rd period minutes and the kid gave it everything he had. How often do you see other dive for loose pucks to knock them in?

    It comes down to putting guys in, but the guys you put n the ice need to get dirty. It is about time The first line showed some heart and soul.

    I didn’t comment after Saturday’s game because it was too painful as I think we the fans live and die with each minute more than the players do.not good for the old ticker.

    • May 8, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Vesey’s play was the ultimate in effort. His teammates should learn from the kid’s example. They also love Tanner because of his heart? Then play with the energy, enthusiasm and heart Tanner Glass brings to the game even though his skills are less than what others possess.

      They can do it. We saw them do it in Montreal and we saw them do it in games 3 and 4 against Ottawa.

    • May 8, 2017 at 2:28 pm


      I have but one question, have you ever seen Daisy Stepan make a play like that?? I didn’t think so, and by the way, your right on the mark!!!!!!!

  • May 8, 2017 at 5:58 pm


    While I vehemently disagree that AV should be fired if the Rangers lose this series (and frankly, the chances of it happening are virtually nil I would say), I want to compliment you on at least dealing with THE issue that actually matters here–the pedestrian play of our “Faux Stars”.

    Let’s take a look at our “Untouchable Elite Beast” Meter and see how our “stars” are doing through 11 playoff games–

    Kreider– 2-1-3
    Hayes– 0-3-3
    Miller– 0-3-3

    Think about this. Tanner bleepin Glass has been more productive than either of those three. Fast (who everyone wants out of here for some bizarre reason) has more goals that all three combined. Nick Holden has as many goals as all three combined. Folks, you are NOT going to go ANYWHERE in the playoffs with this kind of lackluster performance from your best players.

    (Yes, all you Stepan haters, he’s been bad too, but he’s still doubled the point output of any of them!)

    All I’ve been hearing out here for months are how “great” these guys are, and, certainly in the case of Miller and Hayes, they have once again failed to show up when it matters most.

    Anyone bother to look at our “Twins” career post-season record???

    Miller– 39 games (nearly a HALF a season of games!). 1-15-16
    Hayes– 33 games. 2-8-10.

    Some players raise their games when it matters most. Some simply do not have that “next gear” that is necessary come playoff time. So far, in their Rangers playoff careers, Miller and Hayes have been playoff DUDS! Kreider at least has had a playoff pedigree in the past.

    If our three supposed stars don’t show up, and Nash remains compromised due to whatever injury he seems to be dealing with, explain to me how exactly the Rangers should “easily” win this series? To me, it’s a miracle we are still alive at all. Other than our play in Games 3 and 4, we have been a mostly mediocre hockey team since mid-February. It’s good to see that in a collective sense, our offense has come alive. But everyone out here has acknowledged that our defense has significant holes. So, a suspect defense, no stars lifting their game when it is needed. We find ourselves down 3-2 in the series to a team that is pretty much our equal. This is somehow a shock?

    Take a look at all the teams that are still alive? Look at Washington. Their backs were up against the wall. Their stars responded. Who have been the key guys in Edmonton, in Anaheim, in Pittsburgh, and yes, in Ottawa? Their best players have stepped up when needed. Last game, Ottawa got a brilliant performance from Karlsson. That’s what great players do. We keep proving over and over that our “great” players aren’t great. If we are relying on Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast and (OMG) Tanner Glass to somehow carry us over the finish line here, then I have a news flash for you–we are toast. Unless Hank can somehow stand on his head.

    But sure, let’s blame Hank (time to check yourself into the insane asylum if you believe Hank hasn’t been mostly brilliant throughout this playoff). Let’s blame AV, even though he has had different players on the ice each of the three times the lead was blown–and still the same result. What exactly is left to do? (Never mind that most every team is having trouble hanging on to leads late in this wacky post-season….it’s an AV “thing” so better to just leave it at that!).

    When the going got tough for the 2014 Rangers, who did they turn to? MSL. When it got tough for the 1994 Rangers? Messier, Graves and Leetch. We have no players like this. It’s almost like everyone is looking to the next guy on the team as opposed to being “THE GUY” themselves. That has always been the issue with this incarnation of Rangers.

    If the Rangers lose this series, that will be the reason why. And it shouldn’t be the coach that is canned. It will be time to seriously re-evaluate some guys who have been overrated for too long and trade them to get guys who know a little something about winning and raising their game when it matters most.

    I still have faith though. Hank is at his most brilliant best when the stakes are highest. I expect him to come up big. History says he will. As bad as the “Untouchables” have been, they can flip the script at any moment. If just ONE of them gets hot….just one…that may be all we need.

    Going into the season, a team that many felt would be lucky to make the playoffs at all, I think every one of us would gladly take being down 3 games to 2 in the second round of the playoffs–a place few if any thought we would be. I still like our chances…..IF our “passengers” show up and want to drive the bus for a change.

    • May 8, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      What is funny is that you keep off the subject of did the coach do the right thing putting the players in position to succeed. Did the coach put the right players in the final two minutes of the game to win? Blame all the other players that aren’t scoring that much but they had plenty of goals to win the game.
      We need a real coach to coach the players not someone who constantly shoots himself in the foot. The other day the Ottawa coach says oh we’re trying to do is not sabotage ourselves. This coach is busy trying to sabotage us. Put the best players in! Then the question should be did the coach put the best players in and we know that answer is no. Therefore fire him.

  • May 8, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Hi Eddie, I, surprisingly, agree on almost all of what you said.

    Still, I (almost unilaterally) disagree with you on the AV bit.

    Promote the guy, keep his system & what not, that’s an excellent idea; no need for tossing out babies & the bathwater together.

    BUT, for the LOVE OF GOD, put someone on that bench that realizes who actually belongs out there when the game is on the line. (And, I know this is too much to ask for, but, GET RID OF TURTLETIME! No more sitting back! ><)

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