New lines for the post holiday break

It looks like Alain Vigneault had a little too much fun over the holidays. Here are the lines for tonight’s return to action against Washington:

Kids, this is why you drink in moderation.

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20 thoughts on “New lines for the post holiday break

  • Dec 27, 2017 at 10:52 am

    This reminds me of Billy Martin making the Yankees’ lineup by pulling names out of a hat.

    • Dec 27, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      Yep….and when Martin did it and it worked, he was a genius. Got the Yankees attention and they would go on a winning streak.

      Of course when he asked Mike Pagliarulo to bat right handed, well, let’s just say Billy jumped the shark that day. So we will know if AV has truly lost it if he asks one of his lefty shooters to become a righty. 🙂

  • Dec 27, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Brilliant! Your most dynamic offensive threat on the 4th line – again! Every Rangers fan with even limited knowledge of the game can see the potential that Buch has; except for the guy that should know the most – the coach. AV – what a complete knucklehead. But they keep winning with him in the way. Unreal. Can’t watch anymore.

  • Dec 27, 2017 at 11:05 am

    these lines should be great tonight

  • Dec 27, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Want to know why I want AV gone? Look above

  • Dec 27, 2017 at 12:08 pm


  • Dec 27, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Buch deserves the demotion..other than a few flashes of brilliance he has not stood out nor does he win enough puck battles open you eyes people

  • Dec 27, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Oh my! So much hand-wringing and angst over a whole bunch of nothing. AV, like many coaches, juggles his lines. What a shock! Somehow out here, there is this belief that this is an “AV thing” when in fact there are examples all over the league where coaches do this.

    It is also a whole bunch of nothing because what AV (and other coaches) start out with in a game quickly changes based on circumstances anyway. So again, big deal. Who cares? It’s all likely to change by the second period.

    Oh and btw….our superstar elite untouchable player Pavel Buchnevich in December? 11 games. 2 goals. 3 assists. WOW! How in the world could any sane individual even think of shifting such a difference making scoring machine?

    And there was this after practice today from AV…

    “After a three-day break when you haven’t practiced, this will catch everybody’s attention.”

    Translation—“I’m not happy with what I’ve seen the last few games. I need more. So, the team is getting a collective message sent here. I need max effort and certain guys NEED to be better.”

    I know. Awful. Fire him into the sun!!!!!!! 🙂

    • Dec 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      These lines are indefensible. As is the continued appearance of Holden on the first pair. If they give up 40 shots to Washington, it’s gonna be an ugly loss.

    • Dec 27, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Fresh New Coaching Concept for AV: Communicate to the players that are under-performing that they need to pick it up. Directly. Individually. Behind a closed door. Maybe point out specific aspects of their game that they need to tweak or work on with some illustrative film clips. Maybe coach them up on the ice in-practice, with as much one-on-one development time as is possible.

      This is lazy, uninspired, throw it at the wall and see if it sticks stuff. This is not a few adjustments that make some really defensible sense from a strategic and/or statistical standpoint to hopefully catch lightning in a bottle on the heels of some very ineffective outings, which is what many coaches do in fact do…this reeks of tinkering for tinkering’s sake. Not many coaches do this even remotely as regularly as AV does. You find me an athlete that thoroughly enjoys not knowing his place or role on a team in any sport, and I will launch myself into the sun.

      If, indeed, this is AV’s way of sending a message, as you so often contend…it is, flatly put, piss-poor passive/aggressive coaching. It doesn’t matter a lick whether they win or lose tonight, in that sense. Why you consistently prop this up as an awesome coaching method is absolutely beyond me. Before you even attempt to go there, I’ll tell you that Bill Parcells hardly-if-ever pulled shit like this, and certainly not regularly enough that it ceased to even surprise the fans when it happened.

      Also, not to be overshadowed by the line jumbling…he is starting Pav after Hank got a nice natural break with the schedule. Against Washington. What. In. The. Actual. Eff.

      • Dec 27, 2017 at 3:39 pm

        Point by point—

        Why do you assume those one on one things you mentioned are not happening? Indeed, there is every reason to believe they are. These are not mutually exclusive courses of action.

        I’ve mentioned this before. Google various coaches and see what comes up in fan blogs and in articles. I’ve seen a number of coaches all get criticized this season of doing EXACTLY what AV does. It’s a bigger deal to us because it’s our team. But if we were following a different team, pretty good chance we have many of the same complaints.

        Of course any athlete prefers stability. But that security is something you are supposed to earn. Not have handed to you on a platter. The only guy on this team who’s earned a thing is Hank. The rest of these guys are wannabe stars. Want stability? Earn it. That would be my message.

        I never said it was “awesome” coaching. I said it was more than reasonable and far more typical than you realize. And as for Parcells, sorry, I disagree. I’ve known the guy. Interviewed the guy. I’m not saying he and AV coach the same or are temperamentally the same. But Parcells’ messaging to guys was TOTALLY different day to day and person to person. Some guys often had NO idea where they stood game to game. He pissed a lot of guys off, but he couldn’t care less. His guys had a longer leash—most days. 🙂

        I was surprised that Hank didn’t get the start, but it sounds like this was the plan all along from like a week ago. In discussion with Benny, they felt giving Hank a little extra time would be beneficial to him, and they told Pav last week to mentally prepare—this would be his game. Isn’t Grubauer playing for the Caps? What! In a critical division game? What is Trotz thinking? 🙂

        I understand your points but truly, this is just more overblown hysteria.

        • Dec 27, 2017 at 4:44 pm

          C’mon, bruh. If those things are happening, then AV sucks at coaching in a different way, because the problems aren’t correcting to his satisfaction. It is literally impossible that nearly this whole roster is getting that level of quality feedback and instruction from AV and his staff and making so little progress to his satisfaction that he pulls crap like this to the frequency that it is no longer surprising. Again, you’ll be hard pressed to find players that enjoy this type of extreme roster jumbling.

          All sorts of coaches do not do exactly what AV does. Those who do usually do not find sustained success. All sorts of coaches make some lineup changes when the team is not meeting their perceived talent level to performance ratio, yes. All sorts of coaches do not put the roster in a blender for weeks on end like we saw earlier this season and multiple occasions in the past, and all sorts of coaches do blow it up to the severity that AV will with even just single nights like this. I really do not know why you think this is so commonplace when it is this severe. It isn’t. That’s why the lions’ share of fans who aren’t AV loyalists/apologists are currently somewhere in a general range of mildly fed up to downright pissed off, and everywhere between.

          Nowhere did I talk about leashes in mentioning AV or Parcells. Or a consistent message to every player. I actually advocated for the exact opposite; individualized and specialized coaching. This lineup above only has one really major leash/consistency issue IMO, and as pointed out by MC, that’s Holden who has been mostly bulletproof on the first pair lately. Parcells did not put his stars on the third string to get four snaps a game to straighten them out after a bad week or month. Parcells did not give mediocre-to-poor players bulletproof spots in the lineup over other clearly-better players who got shuffled around fairly regularly. Etc. That you interviewed him, which I do not question at all, holds no bearing. I was younger when he coached, but I wasn’t too young to remember his teams.

          This isn’t about leashes. It’s about cheap, lazy coaching by motivation via lineup composition. I don’t know 100% for sure that it is happening any more than you know 100% for sure that it isn’t…but if I’m standing outside and getting wet, I’m gonna chance a guess that it’s raining.

          Trotz might be thinking he can sneak a win with his backup against a coach who gets his lunch stolen regularly, and against a team who has scuffled the past few games and now has been presented with instability in the lineup choices on top of that. Washington four points ahead of the wild card and Ovi is a known Ranger killer. The Rangers are tied for a wild card spot, with the defending champs and an upstart young Carolina team that has looked pretty damn good at times this year just three points behind. Wee bit of a difference; NY needs this game a lot more than WAS does.

          At no point, whatsoever, have I been hysterical in this commentary. Nor have the vast majority of the seemingly myriad fans voicing out against these lineup changes on Twitter or blogs or any other forum. Not really sure why you are trying to take that angle, at all, other than as a distraction tactic and mud-slinging in an attempt to chip away at credibility. Using the term hysteria for this reaction is high hyperbole, dude.

          • Dec 27, 2017 at 4:53 pm


            Agree 10000000000000000%, but your barking up the wrong ally, E3 will defend AV until hell freezes over. At times I honestly believe he does it to tweak the rest of us, because the guy is too smart to believe the crap he puts out there.

            • Dec 27, 2017 at 5:13 pm

              Thanks for the compliment Walt….I think. 🙂

          • Dec 27, 2017 at 5:56 pm


            Fair enough. You make a valid point. Perhaps my characterization was harsh but I stand by my overarching point that this is an overreaction. Perhaps that’s a better way to phrase it.

            To your points again (and by the way, I thouroghly enjoy our debates…you keep me on my toes for sure!)

            1) I think, sorry to say, these lineup debates and TOI is an overreaction. As I said earlier, in the last few weeks, you will find these same complaints about many coaches all over the league. This is not an exclusively AV thing.

            2) this lineup may be curious…no question. But I would be willing to bet if we could sit with a cross section of NHL scouts and GMs tonight and ask them pre-game “what do you the think of AV’s lineup tonight and his coaching in general”, and we promised complete anonymity in terms of their answers, I would be shocked if even one of them would think what AV is doing tonight, or how he his coached squad in general, would be characterized in the extreme negative sense that you and others have described out here. I think there is far more to this than we as “layman” can possibly grasp. (And that’s not meant as an insult. That applies to all us fans. We are not in the room. We have no clue what is happening. But in my experience, generally, there is a logic to these calls that are not made known to us. It’s not some “let’s throw something against the wall and hope approach”.)

            3) you talk about what style the players “enjoy”. Again, hard to say. What we do know is AV’s rep as a “players’ coach”. It’s one of the reasons Torts was shown the door and AV was brought in. AV has been in the league a long time. I can’t think of anything, even from a former player, where AV has ever been bashed or criticized—beyond folks on various blogospheres. Now, I’m sure that, of course, over lo these many years, there probably is something or someone. AV is probably not universally beloved. Not saying that. But he seems to enjoy a very good relationship with players past and present.

            So now to usage. I get it you and others take issue with his approach to deployment. But my question is, is this a REAL issue that the players care about or is this just a “blog thing”? Because then one would have to question, why would college FAs, or indeed FAs in general, choose to play for a guy who will play favorites and jerk around some guys but not others? I get it that NY is a great place to play and all, but with 30 other teams (not to mention two others in the NY Metro), why play for such a guy who allegedly treats players so unfairly?

            I’m a journalist. So what I look for are patterns that can lead to a reasonable conclusion. IMO, there is nothing here that supports that the players are bothered by AV’s approach. Which is why I say we in the blogosphere tend to make a bigger issue about this stuff than it really is in real life.

            4) As for the Hank thing, again, unless you think AV is flat out lying here, it sounds like this was decided last week. Would I prefer to see Hank play tonight? Of course. It’s a big game. But every game is huge right now. You can make the case that Hank, our best player, should play every single game the rest of the way, given how he’s playing and tightness of the race. But of course that would be insane. Yes, it’s a division game, but every game there are two points at stake. So really, what difference does it make when he rests.

            I’m just speculating here, but what do we know about Hank? He likes to play…and thrives on playing time. He’s been off since Saturday. There’s been no practice. Maybe the thinking is that to get Hank at his best, it’s better after a layoff to give him some practice time (morning skate followed by a full practice) before getting back into a game. Maybe Pavelec is better wired for just being “thrown in”. And then on top of that, given the status of the Winter Classic and the distraction that event is beyond being just another game, perhaps the thinking was to give Hank a little more time, then play him in the next two, thus, on paper anyway, allow Hank to be able to be at his best for this NHL signature event.

            I don’t thoroughly agree with the call here. But I don’t think it’s nearly as crazy as you are implying.

            And lastly to my buddy Walt, there is some truth to what you are saying. But not so much “tweaking” you guys as much as to provide a little color and opposite perspective here. I reject the idea that this is some crazy coaching decision, or that anything in his background says this guy isn’t one of the better coaches in the league.

            I suspect that there is a very reasonable perspective here, and just offering it up. I like to try and balance things out…it would get boring if we all agreed, right? 🙂

            • Dec 27, 2017 at 7:48 pm


              Told you so, he’s messing with us. LOL!!!!!!!

            • Dec 27, 2017 at 11:17 pm

              Was the “reasonable perspective” a SO win?

              If so, slow-clap, E3! NAILED IT!

              This is not a sustainable way to win games. This lineup was complete trash, but luckily for us Rangers fans, Trotz is in the “Never the Bride, always a Bridesmaid” club, just like Alain.

              Kinda like witnessing two 2010 Honda Fits in a tug-‘O-war…

              • Dec 27, 2017 at 11:31 pm

                What? I thought you said Trotz would eat AV’s lunch? 🙂

                The “reasonable perspective” was their best defensive effort in weeks. How about credit to the coaching staff? Nahhh….stick to the narrative. Coach sucks….players bailed him out. Yeah….that’s the ticket.

                It was a good team effort for all involved. How about that? Compromise? 🙂

  • Dec 27, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    There really is only one explanation for this lineup, AV has indeed lost his marbles! Anybody see them?

    • Dec 27, 2017 at 11:23 pm

      I’m sure they will be eventually found and returned, via the “proh-cess”…

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