Alain Vigneault’s Breakup Day Comments Are Infuriating

The New York Rangers held breakup day on Thursday, and their head coach’s comments don’t make the series loss any easier to swallow.

Let’s start by saying this: Alain Vigneault is a good hockey coach. Actually, let me rephrase that: He’s an excellent hockey coach, one of the best in the league. The man forgets more hockey than I’ll—or anyone else, for that matter—ever know. But after seeing him royally fuck up deployment in not one, not two (Lebron voice), but three playoff games, and seeing his comments on breakup day, I would love nothing more than to punch him right in the face.

The Rangers dropped three games this postseason because Vigneault decided to rely on experience instead of talent. Brady Skjei and Brendan Smith—arguably the team’s best duo this postseason—were given less ice-time than Marc Staal, Nick Holden, and Dan Girardi. In Skjei’s case, he didn’t even see the ice for the last five minutes in Game 5 against Ottawa, when the Rangers blew yet another lead.

If there are guys that are taking strides and deserve more minutes, why the fuck weren’t they getting them in the most important games of the season? Why were you trotting out defensemen that time and time again came up short in the biggest situations? Do you not realize that the best goaltender of his generation is 35-years-old, and only has, to use your words, so many “kicks at the can” left?

The above quote just boggles the mind. There is literally nothing about it that makes any sense, and it just goes to show that Vigneault, and the Rangers as an organization, have a difficult time evaluating defensemen.

Now, to be fair, Vigneault did have some comments that I loved. Here is his one about Chris Kreider:

I have no problem with calling Chris Kreider out. Consistency has marred his career ever since it started, and if this is how it needs to get through, fine by me. Vigneault knows that for the Rangers to be a contender, they need their best goal scorer to play at his highest level.

But then there are Vigneault’s quotes about Mika Zibanejad:

So you’re 23-year-old center, who missed half the season with a broken leg, and was one of your better forwards from Game 5 of the first round onwards, is at a crossroads? Maybe this is just a ploy for the upcoming contract negotiations, but it is once again a puzzling quote by the Rangers head coach.

Hockey players and coaches don’t give a lot of information during interviews, but this time Vigneault let a couple of quotes slip. The first and the third one in this post should infuriate every single Rangers fan.

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