Wednesday, January 18, 2017

N.Y. Rangers: The Coach is ReAL iN


No he doesn't.  He's a pacifist.

New York Rangers: He still thinks he's going to win a Cup by turning the other cheek.

Even the Florida Panthers demoted Dylan McIlrath.

Yes, that speaks about his actual talent and abilities as a defenseman, and perhaps why Alain Vigneault had no use for him.  I get that.  But he's still very useful for proving a point.

In a Dec. 13 game between the Florida Panthers and Minnesota Wild, Dylan McIlrath twice reacted in response to perceived indiscretions taken against his goalie, Roberto Luongo.  He threw down gloves in the first period against Chris Stewart, then again in the third period against Kurtis Gabriel.   Shortly thereafter the stripes declared McIlrath's night over.  On his way off the ice and towards the tunnel, Dylan McIlrath received a pat on the back from his coach (interim Tom Rowe) for a job well done.

Two nights later on Dec. 15, the New York Rangers were in Dallas playing the Stars.  This was Henrik Lundqvist's first game back since a Dec. 6 loss to the Islanders.  Midway through the first period, Dallas' Cody Eakin barreled through Henrik Lundqvist while playing a puck behind net.  I believe in physicality, but even this hit went too far.  Lundqvist was forced to sit out more than five minutes until he could regather himself.

Not one Ranger skater challenged Cody Eakin.  Not one.  And for the remaining fifty minutes of the game, Eakin's act continued to go unchallenged.  Keep in mind, the NHL eventually handed down a suspension for the hit on Lundqvist.

But where does that leave Henrik?

Answer ... in the hands of a pacifist name Alain Vigneault.

The Rangers hosted the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.  In a rather disgraceful display, the Rangers collectively allowed the Stars seven goals.  The fact the Rangers scored six of their own deserves little mention - not when you allow that many.

Finally ... and I do mean finally, Chris Kreider challenged Cody Eakin.

Is that the plan, Coach?  To have Kreider fight our battles for us?


Since I'm going there, the Stars were quite chippy Tuesday.  I watched Jamie Benn and Antonio Roussel take their liberties what seemed like all night.  A slash here and a cross-check there, much less a run at the goalie, are things that generally continue to go unaddressed by this head coach.

Today, what good is leading the league in goals scored if all that gets you is fourth place in the Metropolitan Division?

I wish I had a better outlook.  But I said this many times, and I'll say it again: you can pirouette through the regular season, but you can't do that in the playoffs.

I didn't say fire him.  I'm just calling him a hopeless dove, and that I'm sick and tired of teams taking their liberties against the Rangers because they know they can.

This isn't everything wrong with the Rangers ... just what bothers me.

P.S. Rick Nash threw his body around.  That was nice to see.

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