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Vigneault suggests low-scoring Rangers ‘go into games with that mentality of 2-1’

Nov 27, 2013, 10:39 AM EDT

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 04: Alain Vigneault head coach of the New York Rangers following a 2-1 defeat by the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden on November 4, 2013 in New York City. Getty Images

Both the New York Post and Bergen Record have stories out bemoaning the Rangers’ lack of offense — New York sits 28th in the NHL in goals per game, at 2.00 — and each publication has focused on one quote in particular from head coach Alain Vigneault.

“We’re getting quality chances,” Vigneault explained. “[But 24 games], there’s a segment that tells us we’re not scoring a lot. Maybe we have to play even tighter to the vest than we are and go into games with that mentality of 2-1.”

If that “2-1 mentality” line sounds strange, it should. Upon dismissing John Tortorella as head coach at the end of last season — a year in which the Rangers only mustered 2.62 goals per game — GM Glen Sather alluded to a stagnant offense and lack of scoring as two major reasons why Tortorella was fired.

What’s more, Sather championed how much Vigneault “loved the offensive game” upon hiring him in June.

“[Vigneault] loves the offensive game, which I think a lot of us do today,” Sather said. “Today’s game has changed, and I particularly enjoy that style of game. That’s not to criticize anyone that likes the defensive part of hockey because I think you need that as well. The game has changed a little bit in the last three to four years.

“If you’re watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs today, you’ll see that there’s a lot more offense going on. … I like his style of play and I like how his players have reacted to him over the years.”

It’ll be interesting to see how the Rangers react to Vigneault’s latest “tight to the vest” assertion, because they sound almost desperate to score.

Brad Richards told the Record that “enough is enough” regarding the anemic offense, while Derek Stepan told the Post the lack of scoring has reached a point where the Rangers would “put the puck through the goalie if that’s what it takes.”

  1. xdj511 - Nov 27, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Glad it’s not time to panic or anything. So the Rangers fired their head coach because the offense was sputtering and they bring in an offensive-minded coach and… the offense is sputtering. So now they’re going to go into games hoping to score a couple of goals and then shut down the other team? Are they going to start trapping? Ugh! I may as well go watch the Devils.

    As for Stepan’s comment about putting it “through the goalie,” how about trying to put it AROUND the goalie every once in a while. That’s how you score goals. I shouldn’t be the one that has to explain it to you.

    • typicalmontreal - Nov 27, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      AV was never an offensive minded coach. Management wanted him to be, and the Canucks were for a couple of years. When in doubt though, AV would always go back to a defensive, dump and chase style. Which is how the Canucks played when he first started coaching, and is how he ended his tenure with them. Playing defensive hockey and trying to eak out those grind-em-up 2-1 wins.

  2. drewzducks - Nov 27, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Gee, I wonder who they got that mentality from ?

  3. stakex - Nov 27, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    I think AV should be fired right now for even suggesting the Rangers just accept that they are only scoring on average 2 goals a game. Hell, Torts generated a lot more offense than this and was fired for lack of production…. so why does AV get a pass for even less production, and likely (at this point) worse results?

    Of course the Rangers problem is far bigger than the coach. They have a collection of players that have shown that despite the coach, despite the system, and despite the season are simply unable to score. The team needs to be blown up, and major trades are needed. They have guys that could net serious return on the trade market such as Girardi, Stepan, Callahan, and Hagelin that should be moved in order to bring in new blood and shake up an ineffective roster.

    Now I know some Rangers fans would panic even thinking of any of those guys being traded…. but look at it this way: How are the Rangers playing with those guys? They are 29th in the league in scoring….. so really, how could it possible hurt to blow up the offense and try something new?

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