Now that Alain Vigneault is all but the Rangers new head coach, what exactly are we getting? Jeff Klein at the New York Times gives us some insight…
"Going by his track record, Vigneault, 52, will stress offense and puck possession over forechecking, tolerate the mistakes of young players instead of bench them at the first missed assignment, and be a good communicator with his players instead of publicly insulting them."
…wow, talk about the anti-Torts. Sounds like the absolute polar opposite.
While Vigneault will bring a more wide open offensive style, Pat Leonard at the Daily News informs Rangers fans that they need not worry about him abandoning Henrik Lundqvist and the defense, as the main reason his Canucks teams were so successful was because of the defense-first foundation he installed. Here's Vigneault's former assistant in Vancouver Rick Bowness further explaining to the Daily News…
“You’ve got to let your players play, you’ve got to let them run, and at the same time you can command commitment to team defense, which we were able to do and then went to the Finals,” Bowness said.
“We never lost our focus on team ‘D’, but we certainly loosened the reins up and let them run a little bit as time went on.”
…opening up the offense, while maintaining a commitment to defense? Torts has been the Rangers coach for so long I almost thought that wasn't allowed. Talk is cheap, but I do have to say I like what I'm hearing and I'm sure the Rangers players do also.
Klein adds that the high point totals logged by defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Bieksa under Vigneault must be encouraging for Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi and the other Rangers defensemen.
…i'd say no Rangers defensman should be more excited about this change than Del Zotto. It'll be his chance to prove it was Tortorella's system that stifled his offense and finally become the power play quarterback we all envisioned him to be. Having said that, this could be Del Zotto's final chance with the Rangers. If he continues to struggle in a system that'll allow him to run, then he may find himself on the block come trade deadline time.