*This is a satirical piece
New York Rangers’ Alain Vigneault has received a brunt of the blame for Game Two’s 6-5 defeat versus the Ottawa Senators. However, it is not Alain Vigneault’s fault that the Rangers lost the game.
The New York Rangers managed to blow three different two-goal leads during game two of their second-round series against the Ottawa Senators. If the viewer didn’t know better, they’d think that they were watching the Washington Capitals try to close out a playoff series in the second round.
It was a pretty miserable team performance. Worst of all, the Rangers let Jean-Gabriel Pageau, a kid who ate one too many chicken parms before the game, score four goals on them!
After the game, many Rangers fans simply put the blame on Alain Vigneault as they believe that his in-game adjustments cost the Rangers the victory. During the collapse, Vigneault benched rookie Pavel Buchnevich and fourth-line center Oscar Lindberg. He also decided to bench Brady Skjei and Brendan Smith in the last six or so minutes of the third period.
As a result, the Rangers’ two-goal lead disappeared quicker than a hot dog being served to Phil Kessel. By the time Pageau buried the game-winner in the second overtime, the Rangers looked tired and gassed.
And sure, Vigneault didn’t have to shorten his bench in a game that went to second overtime. The fact of the matter is that Alain Vigneault did not cost the Rangers the game, but the players that he’s trusted all season let HIM down.
Nick Holden had a career year putting up 11 goals, 23 assists, and 34 points. Alain Vigneault should not be expected to know that Holden stopped scoring goals he’d become this bad. Alain Vigneault isn’t able to travel through time and he doesn’t have a stargate in his bedroom.
What is more, Patrick Roy made sure to call Vigneault to let him know that Holden was one of his best defensemen. Patrick Roy is like one of the best goalies to ever play the game so he must be good at evaluating players, right? It’s not Vigneault’s fault he put his trust in someone who got high praises from Roy.
Simply put, Nick Holden let Alain Vigneault down when the game mattered the most. Welcome to your tape, Nick Holden.
Rick Nash had a wide open net in overtime and he couldn’t even bury it. I mean, why are the Rangers paying him just short of eight million dollars if he can’t score on a net with no goalie in it?Alain Vigneault can’t help it that Nash couldn’t score a goal in the playoffs if his life depended on it.
It is hard to blame Vigneault for Nash missing chances. Brandon Dubinsky makes that shot 10 times out of 10, no doubt about it. If the Rangers never made the Nash trade they’d be tied with Ottawa in the series 1-1.
Alain Vigneault trusts Rick Nash to play a two-way game and to score goals. I don’t see how any sane person blames Vigneault for Rick Nash being able to do those three simple things.
Henrik Lundqvist let up six goals in game two. While Craig Andersen did let up five goals, the Rangers need better. Lundqvist is a generational talent. You expect 150% from people like him every game. Anything less is just unacceptable and quite disappointing.
Going into the playoffs, it was a given that Lundqvist would need to stand on his head every game. The Rangers did not get that in game two. As a result, the game plan to rely on Lundqvist being a brick wall failed. Most importantly, it is hard to blame a head coach if the one person a game plan relies on doesn’t do their job.
Consequently, because the game plan isn’t working, the Rangers find themselves down in a two-game hole.