Just over four weeks after he was fired by the Vancouver Canucks, Vigneault took over as coach of the New York Rangers on Friday — replacing the blustery John Tortorella three weeks after his dismissal.
Dan Bylsma’s accomplishments as a whole are hugely impressive for a 42-year-old coach. The Penguins would be foolish to fire Bylsma. He would be welcomed by the Rangers’ organization with open arms.
The list of candidates to become next Rangers coach has grown to Alain Vigneault, Mark Messier, Lindy Ruff, Wayne Gretzky and Dallas Eakins.
Glen Sather must find a coach who understands that the Rangers need to develop their offensive instincts. Tortorella crushed players like Marian Gaborik, those who wanted to put the puck in the net. The next coach can’t be so limited in his outlook.
His coaching resume lacks the polish of Vigneault and Ruff, but he speaks the players’ language, and maybe that’s exactly what the Rangers need after Tortorella squeezed the confidence out of this team.
The Rangers fired combative coach John Tortorella on Wednesday, four days after New York was eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
I ask Rangers fans to carefully examine which side of the fence they’re on. Ridding of Tortorella before season’s end or in the summer would probably set the Rangers back a decade.
Do the Rangers have a complete team? Could they turn it around at the right time? It’s unlikely, but they still have a chance. They are almost certainly playing for their coach’s future employment.
Evgeni Nabokov picked up his 300th career NHL win as the Islanders defeated the Sabres, 4-2.
Buffalo looks to earn a point for the eighth time in nine games Saturday night when it visits an Islanders team that hasn’t been able to shut down opponents in losing three straight.
Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek scored shootout goals and the Buffalo Sabres won in Lindy Ruff’s 1,000th game as their coach, beating the reeling New Jersey Devils 5-4 on Wednesday night.
All is well in Devil-land for at least one day. But I don’t think anyone is ready to make the argument that it’s all peaches from here on out for this team.
The Devils face a pair of Northeast Division opponents this week; the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins, wrapped around a visit from the Colorado Avalanche.