Two years ago, the Rangers used a brutal preseason & early regular season schedule as an opportunity to bond and build chemistry, this year it looks like they're going to use it as an excuse.
Alain Vigneault (via New York Post):
“I agree that we’ve looked good at different points, but we haven’t been able to put together a full period or a full game,” Vigneault said. “I don’t want to give our team an excuse, but a lot of that has to do with our challenging training camp schedule.
“The game in Phoenix was only the second time we had even close to our full lineup together — we had most of the group in the [exhibition] game in Vancouver — and that’s made it difficult,” he said. “Everything takes time. This is no different."
…ummmm, Alain? You're the head coach. No one said you had to basically use split squads the entire preseason. You easily could have taken one game and plugged in what you thought was going to be the opening night line-up.
…nothing worse than hearing a head coach say "I don't want to make excuses, but…." because that's exactly what you're doing. Suck it up. Get these guys motivated. And let's get a win in Los Angeles.
And it looks like Vigneault's deflecting blame mindset is leaking into the locker room…
“We all know that hockey is a game of details,” Richards said. “With the travel out West and back home, and then back out here to California, it’s been a challenge."
…real challenging taking private charters and staying at five star hotels.
…i thought Richards worked on his game all summer, not his excuses.
…having said that, I thought he was one of the better Rangers Thursday night. Which is probably why they lost.
Here's more from Vigneault…
To watch at Blueshirts United, click here.