How far will the Rangers get this season?

Alain Vigneault outcoaches Dan Bylsma

Alain Vigneault (Rebecca Taylor MSG Photos)

Alain Vigneault (Rebecca Taylor MSG Photos)

Not wishing to take anything away from the performance of Henrik Lundqvist in game 7 against the Pittsburgh Penguins; but I want to give my star of the day to the New York Ranger’s coach Alain Vigneault. Vigneault was like watching a grand chess master in action the way he outcoached and outsmarted Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma not just in game 7 but in games 5 and 6.

Anything Bylsma tried to get his team going was countered swiftly and decisively by the Ranger’s coach. From playing cheerleader and supportive parent in the emotional return of Marty St. Louis in game 5 to mixing and matching his lines in game 6 to the magnificent chess match in game 7.

Alain Vigneault showed that he had learned from the coaching mistakes of the past which cost him jobs in Montreal and Vancouver. He blended his own open ice attack to the Ranger’s Tom Renney/John Tortorella shot blocking defense but Vigneault improved on that defense as well.

There wasn’t no dependency on shot blocking, it was important yes but at the same time using 4 lines one right after another kept his players from being burnt out despite being the only team forced to play back to back games in 2 straight series.

In game 7 no Ranger forward played more than the 17:44 played by Mats Zuccarello but it sure seemed as if Dom Moore and Brian Boyle never left the ice. When Bylsma tried to shift players around to get better matchups; there was Vigneault countering each and every move.

In the 3rd period when Pittsburgh was trying to throw everything at the Rangers; there was the calmness of the Ranger coach. And that calmness was responded to by the Ranger players as you never really saw any kind of panic no matter what the situation.

The Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in a playoff series for the first time ever, they defeated them in a game 7 on their ice and they did it by coming back from down 1-3 in the series. It was an effort that no other Ranger’s coach had ever done and let’s hope they don’t have to do this again.

Now we find out how much of a genius Alain Vigneault truly is as the Rangers now attempt what will appear to be an almost impossible task. Get past either Montreal or Boston to play for the Stanley Cup something the Rangers have not done since 1994.

Don’t bet against Vigneault taking this team to the cup finals and winning it all.  More than anything that Vigneault has done is that he has Ranger fans believing they can win it all and that alone is something else.                                                    

Posted by Jess Rubenstein | May 14, 2014 at 05:24 am

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 3 0 0 - 3
Blackhawks 1 1 0 - 2

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