DeAngelo and Smith to sit for Holden and Kampfer

With all the roster movement over the past two days, Alain Vigenault has settled on his defense pairings for tonight’s game:

Marc Staal-Ryan McDonagh
Brady Skjei-Kevin Shattenkirk
Nick Holden-Steven Kampfer

AV seems hell-bent on making what could be a great New York Rangers defense into a mediocre one at best. This is not optimal lineup usage, at all. The Rangers traded Derek Stepan to get Tony DeAngelo and committed big money to Brendan Smith. Let’s chalk this up as bad decision making, no sugar coating needed.

"DeAngelo and Smith to sit for Holden and Kampfer", 3 out of 5 based on 12 ratings.

67 thoughts on “DeAngelo and Smith to sit for Holden and Kampfer

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 11:42 am

    How is this happening 4 games into the season?

    Toronto is a team that is on fire and AV is using that ONE data point as a reason to blow everything up.

    You do not commit almost 11 million to 2 d men and then trade our 1C for a defensive asset to demote all 3 2 games into the season. Let them GEL. Our team was GOD AWFUL in october of 2013. There are growing pains .

    Gorton has to step in ASAP and fire this clown.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      Clearly AV’s taking his cue from the deposed Steven Bannon’s Chaos Theory/burn down government playbook.

      Only Mr Gorton and–incredibly–Slats can save us.

      • Oct 10, 2017 at 3:12 pm

        DeAngelo benched because he like Denis Lebel.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Absolute BS.
    This idiot needs to be fired.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 11:44 am

    I don’t like these pairings, at all. That said, I am very curious to know what kind of process is going on inside the coaches room. The hiring of Ruff has been speculated to be a warning shot across AV’s bow. That it might be. However, it also may be that Ruff has some autonomy (why would he want the job otherwise?) and that he is going through his process with them.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      I’ll tell you what is going on in the coaches room. Picture a rolled up $100 bill and lines of cocaine on the table.

      • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:45 pm

        My man!

      • Oct 10, 2017 at 3:18 pm

        Rangers Rock…….
        You should get free tickets for that line…….now do you want rangers tickets or what?

        • Oct 10, 2017 at 3:49 pm

          Of course, I want Rangers tickets!

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Hmm…let’s see. Smith, on ice for 5 first two games. Tony D on ice for 3. Both looked lost. Holden and Steve K played in shut out. It would be naive to change the lineup.

    And, I love the speculation about AV’s job. Do you really think he doesn’t talk to Gorton 10 times a day? Do you think Gorton doesn’t have input over the lineup?

    NYR shut out MTL with these pairings. It would be idiotic to change right now.

    And it’s your weekly reminder that Dylan McIlraith is NOT in the NHL and Adam Clendenning hasn’t played yet for the ‘Yotes.

    Maybe, Just maybe,Holden is being showcased?

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Maybe Holden is being showcased. Regarding Smith, I think you (coaches) sent your message already. Put him back on the ice. Regarding Tony D, you are right he has played bad and turned over the puck too many times, but you need to see what he can do over a 20 game trial, and that needs to start ASAP. Regarding Staal and Mac, they have been placed together before and the results have not been great.

      I agree that Gorton and AV talk multiple times per day/week, especially now, so the idea that they are not communicating and that Gorton would or should fire AV right now is ludicrous. That said, AV makes lineup decisions (with input from Ruff, how much we don’t know). I suspect there is disagreement between Gorton and AV about this deployment.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      “Maybe, Just maybe,Holden is being showcased?”

      That is the only logical reasoning for the move. The fact that Holden/Kampfer happened to be playing in a game where the other team scores 0 goals doesn’t tell the whole story about how bad they were in that game. 0 goals were scored by the other team in spite of their play.

      Even if Holden were being showcased (doubtful as it is as he would have most likely been traded by now if there were any takers) it still doesn’t excuse Kampfer’s spot in the lineup.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Despite of shutout Rangers where terrible in it’s own end, sitting TonyD doesn’t help

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 1:57 pm

      The Rangers played wretchedly against MTL in terms of defense. I mean…since you’re Mr. Eye Test, I have to wonder…did you even watch that game? They were out-shot by a fair margin. The NYR possession stats were more like those correlating more to a 0-2 (or worse) loss than the other way around. MTL has one of the worst forward groups top to bottom in the East despite a couple big names in the top six, and is not a playoff team with a merely average net-minder. Hank and two nice, opportune goals by Mika and Skjei were the only reason this was a win. Just one power play allowed also helped.

      The Rangers deserved to win the COL game, and lost it due to a herculean effort from Voynov. They did not deserve to win the MTL game, and won it due to a very-soild-if-not-quite-herculean effort from Hank. These are facts.

      McIlrath and Clendening to not play for the Rangers. On the one hand, you seem to be aware of that because you mentioned that Clendening plays for the Yotes…but on the other hand, you seem to not be aware of that, because you mentioned them. Like they have anything to do with the decisions currently being made about the Rangers. What’s Oscar Lindberg up to? How is Brad Richards doing these days? Cool stuff to ponder, but not relevant to today’s lineup.

      Maybe, just maybe, showcasing Holden instead of playing the future is folly? Holden put up his most impressive statistical season in terms of counting stats last season, and nobody was lighting up Gorton’s phone line to get him, even at a pretty low cap hit.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      Hmmm, Pens gave up 10 goals ina game, guess they’re not winning the Cup this year.

      Seriously, after 2-3 games Al? You’re much better than this. Much.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Until the Optimal lineup learns to limit high quality chances against..AV has no choice. They just put up a shutout you have to give that same lineup another chance after a shutout no?

    Do I think this is the best lineup…no, but the guys leaving hank out to dry need to take a step back and sure up there defensive zone play.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      After multiple months off, a new addition that changes the dynamic of your back end, and limited cohesion of playing together as they’d be deployed in the regular season in game action (pre-season), players were given exactly 120 minutes of hockey to develop symmetry?

      You know what, even in pre-season in other sports, its not played to 100%. But managers and coaches give the expected “everyday” lineup a few reps to at least form some semblance of cohesion. Not a lot, some. Football for instance. 1st teamers get maybe 2 series the first pre-season game, maybe one quarter the second, maybe up to one half the third, then sit out the final game. You can’t ask someone to go from zero to full on symmetry because the games suddenly matter.

      But they won, they got a shutout. Yea. They won despite an optimal lineup. You can use a donut or the incorrect tire on your car to get it from point a to the garage. Do you really want to use that as your everyday tire though? I mean hey, it worked. I highly doubt many sane people would answer yes and would rapidly get the right tire back on their car.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    So for years, after Staal and Girardi have terrible games, everyone wants them to sit. Now, Smith had an absolute stinker on Saturday night, as bad a performance as any Staal or Girardi put forth in years, and NOW AV shouldn’t bench veterans?

    As for DeAngelo, maybe the staff feels the 21 year old isn’t ready yet to play for a contender? Could it be he needs a half season in Hartford, getting big minutes every night?

    Holden and Kampfer are completely fine for a few games as a bottom pair D. Obviously, Staal isn’t going to be playing on the top pair all year. Smith needs to get his act together, and quick. If you want to blame anyone for the funky D pairs, blame Smith. Dude wasn’t looking good in training camp and he’s been a tire fire in his first two games this season.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      I actually like Kampfer pretty well, certainly more than Holden. But not more than the possibility of what Tony D might bring. And yes, Smith will be inserted back, the question is how soon? I’d do it now, but again, I suspect Ruff is going through his process along with AV.

      • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:17 pm

        This is why Kampfer was given a two year contract once the playoffs ended. He’s a reliable vet that knows how to jump into the lineup after being a scratch for a solid month. That is not an insignificant skill.

        As for Kampfer vs. Tony D. right now, it’s a question of using the mistake prone rookie that can generate the odd moment of brilliance or the steady vet who will never wow you but is far less likely to make a boneheaded mistake that leads to a goal

      • Oct 10, 2017 at 3:28 pm

        Being a defenseman is about playing defense. Sure, it’s nice if a dman contributes offensively, but it is not the main event. Unfortunately, it is a lot more fun than blocking shots and it is easy to get carried away.

        It would appear that if DeAngelo really understood what it meant to be a good defenseman and if he was personally committed to playing that role, he has the physical tools to be a very good one. However, he is also someone who has displayed attitude problems in multiple aspects of his life and there is no reason to believe his on-ice performance is immune. We don’t know of course, but the IF in the first sentence in this paragraph is a big IF.

        The bottom line is that if he is committed to be the defenseman you want him to be, you do all you can to help him make that happen. And if he isn’t, you do all you can to force him to listen. And certainly the worst way to get him to listen is to pencil him into the lineup game after game.

        In the long run, playing guys who do what they are told pays off better than playing your best players.

        • Oct 10, 2017 at 4:39 pm

          “In the long run, playing guys who do what they are told pays off better than playing your best players.”

          Uh, what? Please expand on this thought, cause at face value….whoa…

          • Oct 10, 2017 at 6:32 pm

            Obviously, you play good players who do what they are told. My quote relates to when you are forced to choose.

            You win with a combination of players and systems. If you can’t get your players to play your system, you are going to lose. Period. And you won’t get players to play your system if you don’t insist on it.

            And the good players will usually buy into the system when the option is watching. So the discipline established control. But oddly, even if it doesn’t, a bunch of guys like Glass and Kampfer will actually beat much better players if they are without discipline.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Holden and Kampfer are being showcased. That is the only sensible thought here.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Vegas sitting on a mountain od defencemen, nobody’s even nibbling. They are playing because AV thinks they’re going to be better than what they have.

      He’d be wrong(not that Smith and DeAngelo aren’t bad right now, but they can at least recover/grow) but that’s never stopped AV before.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Is Gorton on board with this crap? I don’t see how he could be. And if not, does he have no sway over lineup decisions? I get that it’s the coaches lineup card, but you can’t construct a roster as a GM without the coach on the same page with regards to deployment. This is maddening. If one or two of those setups by DeAngelo are finished, did he suddenly have a better game and deserving of more time? Hank got lit-up two games ago. Why did he get a shot in the next game? Just trying to follow the non-logic here.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Because Hank didn’t get “lit up”. Go watch the goals from Saturday.

      The first was a redirection, can’t blame the goalie for that. The next three were scored off of embarrassing giveaways by Smith and De Angelo, and a shockingly poor defensive read by Smith. All of that was topped off by Grabner deciding to go five-hole on Hank late in the first.

      • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:40 pm

        Evaluation that goes beyond end result? Something this staff only selectively applies, which is my complaint. All I’m hearing in defense of this is “win = same lineup, duh”. Kampfer Staal and Holden looked just as expected, which the advanced stats supported. Regardless, Shatty, DeAngelo, Smith, Staal – were all positioned on this roster for certain purposes. Two games in and AV reverts to his old-f ways, not allowing any chemistry or experience to develop. There is no scenario where this team wins in the long run with last game’s roster and deployment, and we shouldn’t need to wait for a loss to change it. If he wanted to send a message to certain guys, he did it. Repeating it shows that it’s more likely about a belief in the old man eye test and short-term results.

      • Oct 10, 2017 at 4:05 pm

        “Because Hank didn’t get “lit up”.”

        Not relevant – Hank doesn’t get benched whether he was lit up or not. The reason is simply that benching him serves no useful purpose.

        You either bench a player to put a player in who will do a better job – or you bench him to send a message. In the latter case, a smart coach treats old and young players differently. If you think Anthony DeAngelo has a style that is too aggressive, you bench him to make him change his game. If you think the same of Shattenkirk or Yandle, good luck, they are what they are. And as for sloppiness, let’s say for the sake of argument that Hank was really sloppy against Toronto (and I am not taking a position on this). Well, no one is harder on Hank than Hank. You don’t need to tell him that he has to do better. And there are many veterans like this. Of course, there are some veterans that need reminding and also some kids with a strong sense of self discipline, but in the latter case, the coach hasn’t necessarily figured them out yet.

        Coaching players is not one size fits all.

        • Oct 10, 2017 at 4:52 pm

          Brilliantly said Ray. But unfortunately there are people out here who think exactly the opposite, that every player MUST be treated EXACTLY the same—like some pee wee hockey team.

          The best coaches know that there are different buttons to push with different people—that they each have a different way to learn lessons.

          • Oct 10, 2017 at 5:20 pm

            It’s not that AV needs to treat players the same, it was that Smith was just that putrid Saturday night. Seriously, that was the worst performance by a regular Rangers defenseman I’ve seen since the days of Wade Redden on the blue line.

            Since the Rangers currently have two veteran NHL Ds as healthy scratches, it would be unfair, an insult even, to the entire team to not sit Smith in favor of other players after his non-performance on Saturday.

            Not sure what is wrong with Smith, whether it’s emotional or physical, but something is wrong with the dude at the moment and he has to right himself quickly. The team needs Brendan Smith to be a 21+ minute a night D, if a couple nights off helps him get back to that level, sit him.

            • Oct 10, 2017 at 6:19 pm

              The Hank tangent is besides the point. I was simply demonstrating the lack of consistency. And if the response is that “each player should be coached differently”, well of course. Except this coach has not showed anything resembling a deft touch with discipline, player development, roster decisions, or deployment. Above all, please explain Staal with McD, giving him top minutes, assignments, the biggest spots in the game, and a liability to your best skater. AV hasn’t changed, is my point, and it’s depressing as all hell going into game 4.

              • Oct 10, 2017 at 6:30 pm

                I know. It would be so depressing if our clueless coach refuses to change and takes a team in obvious transition to yet another 100+ point season and a playoff berth yet again. I’m depressed just thinking about it!

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    we got Brendan from Detroit he helped last season but after playing two bad games he has to sit and Deangelo the guy we got for Stepan he had two bad games so he is sitting this is how you learn

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Coach! Here is some more rope! I need not say a thing.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Showcased? Maybe. But AV loves Holden. Remember last season? The problem is now we have Staal as top D pairing. Not sure I get that.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    We need a center….maybe Stepan or Lindberg is available? Our top picks sent back. Tony D sent to bench….hhhmmm. Gorton not looking great at this moment. About the Anderson pick. He could end up being another Manny Malhotra 4th liner. Same comments about defense and mature for his age. Time will tell. When a team picks in the top 20, they really should be without a doubt – 1st line prospect talent! I agree with many posts when he was picked.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 4:53 pm

      I don’t believe we can re-acquire Lindberg this season from Vegas, per the expansion draft rules. Might be wrong about that, but I believe that’s the case.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    I am hopeful that JG will correct his most glaring error this summer by relieving AV of his bench duties. You can lead a horse to water buy you can’t make him drink. It doesn’t matter who you trade for JG if he doesn’t see the ice.
    And not for nothing…..thank the lord for Holden and Kampfer….because without them Mr Lundquist surely would’ve lost the Montreal game. Read the last sentence as sarcastic.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Stall on the 1st pairing, and Smith on the bench really troubles me. I am mostly an AV backer, but these moves really have no logic to them????

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    As you all know, I am usually inclined to lean toward the patient approach, trusting in management and coaching, for they have their reasons that we are not always privy to.

    I have no qualms with the Chytil situation, other than disappointment that Gorton didn’t plug that hole with someone proven over the summer.

    But, this, I do not like.

    Montreal was the perfect game to make a shakeup and play your less talented defenders to send a message after games 1 and 2. I didn’t really have a major issue with that.

    But, St Louis is a speedy, fairly dangerous team. The message has been sent, now it’s time to play your best lineup, and that means letting Smith redeem himself, and giving DeAngelo an opportunity to use his mobility and make plays.

    Too much money and personnel (Stepan / Raanta) have been put on the line to resign Smith and bring in DeAngelo for them not to play.

    This is not a capable blueline that’s being sent to the slaughter tonight.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Expecting to get crucified…

    “The Rangers traded Derek Stepan to get Tony DeAngelo and committed big money to Brendan Smith. Let’s chalk this up as bad decision making, no sugar coating needed.”

    In economics your rational is often referred to as the “Sunk cost fallacy”. “I just spent $600.00 fixing my car and now the transmission is going. I’ll need to fix that to get value from the engine work I just had done”. Perhaps money better spent would be on a new car rather than fixing the transmission.

    There is no way to unsign Smith nor can you untrade Stepan. The belief that you MUST justify your actions because of your investment is often a foolish one. Both Smith and DeAngelo have struggled in their own end. Believe me when I write that I have no confidence in Staal, Holden, or Kampfer. But at this point I cannot say with absolute certainty that either Smith or DeAngelo would perform better based on the first three games of the season. When this board applauded AV saying that Staal needed to earn playing time, was it just isolated to Staal? I think we have four or five defensemen on the roster who should sit tonight. Perhaps another game spent watching rather than playing will do them good since they are the ones the Rangers will need to step up this season.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      100% agree! Brilliantly said.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Frankly, I hope we get blown out tonight and every night until this moron is fired. AV is a great coach for another team.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Bryan. Frankly I think you’re a idiot for saying that. I guess you would rather lose than win with a coach that you don’t like. Great fan !!!

      • Oct 10, 2017 at 4:18 pm

        It’s just like AV who only wants to win with his chosen ones. He loses the big games because his chosen ones are not the best players. Bryan is just a fan and wants to get rid of the obvious problem which he sees. I’m sure he is tired of it every year the same thing.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    The facts are that DeAngelo and Smith were really brutal on defense in the first two games. Smith we know has a good track record and will rebound (maybe he needed a wakeup call), but DeAngelo is young and a loose cannon on defense. He should be sent down to work on his defensive game and replaced with Graves.I think Graves would be better on defense given the opportunity. I though Kampfer played a very good physical defensive game against Montreal. Last year the first half (and only for the first half), Holden was one of our better defensemen and didn’t look that bad the other night. The result was a shutout win. I can’t say I’m that angry at AV on this one.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      “I though Kampfer played a very good physical defensive game against Montreal. Last year the first half (and only for the first half), Holden was one of our better defensemen and didn’t look that bad the other night. The result was a shutout win. I can’t say I’m that angry at AV on this one.”

      What do you define as good, please?

      Personally? Giving up -10 shots (Holden) and -8 (Kampfer), making it so that your team had a roughly 43% chance of getting a goal (Holden) or 31% chance (Kampfer) is not very good. That means the other team can just step up shop in our end, and that strategy has been working out so well for us…..

      • Oct 10, 2017 at 5:38 pm

        Were they all quality shots, and was that tandem was much better then the BRUTAL showing of DeAngelo and Smith the two games before?

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Im reaching here in order to stay optimistic……. Staal/Holden are being showcased for a trade. Anyone with me?

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      I’m pretty sure everyone already knows what Staal/Holden have to offer, and if they don’t, let’s keep them in the dark by not showcasing them 😉

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      That’s like putting two beaters out front and center in your used car lot, in order to draw customers in. You’re probably hurting the lot’s overall bottom line.

      • Oct 10, 2017 at 4:18 pm

        As a man who loves his analogies, I have an extreme respect for you. You deserve a stick tap.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      No. This is an over-generalization, but has a lot of truth in it.

      Fans like players with talent and skills.
      Coaches like players who do what they are told.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    I just can’t any more. I hope Gorton is seething.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    If Kampfer & Holden play 8 minutes a night it can work in the short term, but they run the risk of wearing out the rest of the D.

    Hedman & Stralman each played 26 minutes last night, does anybody think that’s good in the long term?

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    I’m becoming convinced Gorton is playing for next year.

    He is giving enough rope to AV this year to hang himself. As long these decisions like these are being made, Rangers will either squeeze into the playoffs by a slim margin or miss the playoffs. Then Gorton will have an excuse to fire AV.

    Next year, the team is largely intact, the only important player who is UFA is Nash. Subtracting Nash, Holden, Grabner and Desharnais gives you ~ 12mm to play with. Let’s say 5 of those will go to Miller and Hayes on Zibanejad like contracts (so their salaries go from 2.5mm to 5mm). Vesey’s not going to get much of a raise the way he’s playing. Let’s say Skjei signs a bridge deal for 2.5mm per. That leaves 5+ mm for free agents (if there is no cap increase).

    That leaves:
    Zucc – Hayes – X
    Miller – (Chytil, Andersson, X) – Lettieri
    Fast – (Chytil, Andersson) – (Tambellini, Gropp, Vesey)

    McDonagh – Shatty
    Smith – Skjei
    DeAngelo, Pionk, Staal

    Candidates for player X – Neal, JVR, Backlund, maybe even Nash at $4-5mm per.
    That is a competitive team, and even though Hank will be another year older, the team as a whole will be better.

    The one big question left, the same as for the last couple of years, is the coach.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      I think you are partly right, but things are not clear-cut. JG did not think last year’s team was good enough to win and wanted a reset. He traded away the very valuable Stepan and bought out Girardi (still good despite what those here think). He added Shattenkirk and some young players. Realistically, maybe if DeAngelo and Andersson really hit the ground running, the Rangers would be well-positioned in 2018, but the big plus is that the team is much better positioned for the future.

      • Oct 10, 2017 at 4:50 pm

        Girardi already off 1st pair in Tampa, down to 15 minutes last night when 1 D got 3 minutes and another got 13.

        But Stevie Y is a genius.

        • Oct 10, 2017 at 6:41 pm

          He should be second pair, not first. And he certainly isn’t worth $5.5M a year at this point. But I do see him at $2M +.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    AV’s history is not to make changes after a win.

    So Holden & Kampfer should have been expected.

    Cracknell will fill out the forwards, so we don’t have to go with 7 D.

    I’m not agreeing with it, I’m just not the least bit surprised by it.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    First of all, the Arizona trade was not expected to be an even trade by either side. There is a very good chance that it will be quite lopsided. We just don’t know which way yet. Arizona got a well known commodity in Derek Stepan – and also Raanta, perhaps a #1 (yay for them) or perhaps a backup (sob). The Rangers got a #7 draft choice, which can be quite valuable, and DeAngelo. Contrary to thinking here, I don’t believe for a second that the Rangers KNEW what they were getting. I thought – and still do – that the high end estimate for DeAngelo was a top pair defenseman and the low end was a third pair guy on a bad team. Moreover, I believe that Gorton felt the same way I do. People here think the Rangers were getting a star right handed defenseman. Reality: Edmonton gave up Taylor Hall to get Adam Larsson. You don’t get a star RH defenseman and a first round draft choice for Stepan and Raanta. What you might get is a guy who might be a star RH defenseman if he develops properly.

    The game – in October 2017 – is not about taking advantage of DeAngelo now. It is about making him the player his physical skills should enable him to be.

  • Oct 10, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Oh my, it’s so hilarious! The overreactions are underway in full force!!!!!

    So let me get this straight now. AV supposedly hates the kids and loves the veterans. So he sits Smith, a veteran player who just signed a big contract, and Skjei keeps on playing. How can this be???? AV supposedly hates the kids! I don’t get it!? And Buch on the first line? At 22 years old? I thought AV ruined him last year! 🙂

    Look, my preference would be to see a little stability and go with your best, so I understand the anger to an extent. I didn’t like the lineup on Sunday and I don’t like it tonight. But after that trainwreck game in Toronto, it was more than reasonable to send a message. Sitting Smith IMO is a powerful one. Sitting DeAngelo might be a good thing for a while. This is a kid who had issues in Arizona and only played what, a half a season? I have no issue with this—at the moment anyway.

    I agree, there may be some showcasing going on. Chytil has been sent down. Maybe there is something up that would allow the Rangers to acquire either a center, or if they move JT to center full time, a winger. We can bust on Holden alll we want, but he was the leading goal scorer on defense last year. That’s not my definition of a train wreck player. As for Staal, IMO, you can make the case he’s been their most reliable defenseman so far (which isn’t saying much but still).

    I will also point out that with a supposedly train wreck defense the last two seasons, this team managed to finish with over 100 points, proving that we can be succesful this way. I’m not advocating for this long term, and like some others, I would rather see Smith and DeAngelo back in soon. But fire the coach because of this? Please!

    AV certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt. Why? Because as I said earlier, his player evaluations through his first four plus seasons have been pretty much spot on. Just about every player that the “Fire AV” crowd has clamored for him to play went elsewhere and pretty much suffered the same fate they had with the Rangers. Based on what happened to those players once they left, there is no evidence whatsoever that a different coach would do anything different.

    The only way AV gets fired this year is IF the team unravels. Not because of who he chooses or doesn’t choose to play. And I’m convinced that Gorton and AV are very much on the same page. If they were not, and knowing that he was going to make the team younger this off-season, there is zero chance Gorton gives AV a mega-extension and raise. I doubt seriously he is going anywhere any time soon…again, unless this team unravels.

    • Oct 10, 2017 at 6:52 pm

      It isn’t that AV loves/hates anything, it’s that he demonstrates little grasp of his roster or that he knows what he’s doing beyond any replacement level coach.

      The benefit of doubt was abandoned(by me anyway) when he kept on playing Girardi on one leg. Or when he kept playing Staal last season even as he demonstrated nightly that he still had concussion related cognitive issues.

      • Oct 10, 2017 at 7:09 pm

        Replacement level coach? That’s hilarious.

        He’s won more games than any coach in the NHL over the past decade. That’s fact. If you think that you can just slot anyone in and the same end result happens, then you are truly deluding yourself.

        Girardi on one leg? That was two years ago. He was medically cleared to play. His only other option was McIlrath, and every other team has concluded he is not an NHL option. So he played through the injury. Wow, what a unique concept…and NHL player playing hurt!

        Staal? Again, he was MEDICALLY CLEARED TO PLAY. So obviously what you are saying is made up nonsense. But again, when it comes to a fair and honest evaluation of AV, you have proven over and over that you have such a dislike of the coach that you will literally make things up in order to “prove” your point.

        If what you said was actually true, this would be a bombshell story. AV would be fired, the Rangers medical staff, including one of the most respected trainers in the game, Jim Ramsey, would be gone. Gorton would be gone for re-signing the coach and covering this up. Not only fired—sued. And yet no one is reporting it..or even hinting at it. Wow! I guess even the press corp is in AV’s thrall.

        But again, when it comes to AV, making stuff up is what you do. So no surprise.

        • Oct 10, 2017 at 7:34 pm

          If the coach couldn’t see the obvious, THEN HE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HE’S DOING.

          How do we know it’s obvious? Because some of us were bitching about it at the time.

        • Oct 10, 2017 at 8:57 pm

          E#, as for AV winning blahblahblah, remember Gavrilo Princip started WWI because Franz Ferdinand’s driver went the wrong way down a one way street and stalled the car when he tried to U turn.

          As for the making stuff up crack, long story short? I know we’re supposed to keep is civil, but Fuck you.

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