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Vigneault didn’t think ‘it was gonna come overnight, and it’s not’

Dec 13, 2013, 4:33 PM EDT

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers Getty Images

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault had some interesting answers today when asked about the challenging start to his tenure in New York.

Via the Daily News:

On whether this job has been more difficult than Vigneault had imagined: “No, not at all. Throughout seasons you get moments like this where as a group your team is not for whatever reason is not performing. In an 82-game season, you’re gonna see that, usually more than once, and how you do that is internally and you work with your players and players work with one another to be supportive. Everybody knows who’s fighting it a little bit right now, and I expect them to be supportive of one another to work on the areas that need improvement, to follow the coaches’ directives, and we’re trying real hard right now.”

On whether Vigneault had misconceptions coming in about what players the Rangers had: “Not really. I mean I knew even though I didn’t know the East real well, I knew our skill set. I knew that this team was based around real strong goaltending night in and night out. As far as the overall picture of the team, I knew what I was getting into, the areas we had to work on, and I didn’t think it was gonna come overnight and it’s not. As much as we’re struggling in certain areas, and I think that’s clear for everybody, we’re still right in the picture. The effort I’m seeing right now on and off the ice, we’re working our way to find the wins we need to get back on track.”

For frustrated Rangers fans who may be wondering if it was a mistake to let John Tortorella go, it may be worth looking back on Vigneault’s time in Vancouver, where it wasn’t exactly all roses before the Canucks evolved into one of the elite teams in the NHL.

In fact, Vigneault was as close at it gets to getting fired back in February of 2009, before Alex Burrows scored a late shorthanded goal to beat Carolina and end an eight-game winless slide.

Not to suggest the Rangers are one timely goal from turning things around. Vigneault has only begun to put his mark on the team. And general manager Glen Sather may need to go out and get some new players in order to play the kind of style the coach was brought in to employ. Certainly the organization’s youngsters will need to progress, as the Sedins and Ryan Kesler did under Vigneault.

The Rangers host Calgary Sunday.

  1. xdj511 - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    The utter stupidity of walking into a scenario like this… where a team was coming off of a third round and then a second round exit. Taking a team that was built around defense and solid goaltending and thinking… from now on we’re not going to do it like this… we’re going to be an offensive minded team going forward… except you don’t have the players to pull off that system! You have a good power forward in Nash, a good two-way center in Stepan, a slowing and aging star in Richards… impressive but inconsistant Kreider… speedy playmakers in Hagelin and Zucc… your gritty but often-injured Captain Cally… and six other guys who skate up and down the ice and contribute little to nothing. Of course the only way this team was going to win was to limit the other team to as few goals as possible!

    Right now I’m visualizing that scene near the end of Blazing Saddles when the late great Dom DeLuise went up to the dancer, whacks him over the head with his megaphone, and says “WRONG!!!” I feel a little better now.

    • Jason Brough - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      The $10 million probably helped him with the walking.

    • bronxtale247 - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:00 PM

      Once again

      • bronxtale247 - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:01 PM

        Once again, great points xdj

  2. aec4 - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Messier should have got the job.

    • philk0731 - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      And we would be in the same place we are now – but then you’d be saying Vigneault should have gotten the job. It’s the TEAM that sucks, not the coach.

      • DED - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM

        Who knows? But I would think that Messier would have a much different coaching style than Vigneault.

        I know someone out there will make the argument that great players make lousy coaches while mediocre players make good coaches.

  3. bwayblueshirt - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Just wrote about what could be happening soon in NY and some of Sather’s options to shake things up a little. Check it out here: http://rangerhockeynews.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/shake-up-coming-in-the-big-apple/

  4. johnstone17 - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Same mistakes by the same players.

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