The New York Rangers Were A Solid Competitor Entering the Postseason But Unfortunately Fell in An Untimely Demise. Though the Team Didn’t Have a 100 Across the Board When it Came to Their Game, the True Downfall of the Team’s Postseason Was Behind the Bench. This Was a Final Straw in What Should be a Management Change For the Team.
The New York Rangers entered the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs as a wild card and rose to the playoff occasion by defeating first-place Montreal Canadiens. After the first round, New York seemed like a team ready to play but unfortunately fell to the Ottawa Senators in round two.
The Rangers had the opportunity to tie the series and push for a seventh game but fell in an untimely demise. Coaching played the biggest role in the Rangers’ elimination, not to say the Senators didn’t top them but the bench management played a crucial role.
Coaching is the First Domino
A few dominoes let everything fall for the Rangers but coaching had to be the first domino to fall. The Rangers’ players can trace a good chunk of their team’s struggles to the men behind the bench.
Head coach Alain Vigneault didn’t make the best calls for the bench this postseason. Roster decisions should have been made with a little more game consideration.
While Tanner Glass performed well in some matchups, the Rangers would have benefitted from Pavel Buchnevich‘s presence in the lineup. The rookie is a good puck mover, play-maker and provides a boost on the power play. Buchnevich should have seen more ice time in the postseason and would have made a difference.
Not to mention, Vigneault kept the problematic defensive pair of Nick Holden and Marc Staal in full command by giving their mistakes a blind eye. Vigneault overlooked the performance of these d-men, most likely due to his incline to choose favorites or side with older players.
Even in-game mistakes caused coaching to take a wrong turn. Vigneault even sat some of the team’s youth during an overtime matchup that would result in an OT loss. Between rolling just three lines and keeping the wrong players in the press box, Vigneault and the coaching staff didn’t give their team the right ammunition.
Skill-wise, there wasn’t a substantial reason that the Rangers should have fallen to the Senators other than the fact that they dropped the ball. In all, the Rangers were the stronger team, but their decline was of their own design.
The Senators’ defensive system should have been a faltering match against the Rangers’ power for offense. Instead, the Rangers failed to adjust to the game and fell in an untimely fashion. The coaching behind the bench was the source of most of this trouble.
The Rangers dropped the ball, sure, but the team’s coach is responsible for keeping the team level, ready and prepared.
These mistakes linger over the heads of Rangers fans. An outside source might say there’s no coaching problem in New York but if you ask a Rangers fan about the coaching, they’ll tell you a different story.
Too often, time and time again, coaching opts for veterans and ‘experience’ over younger, usually more skilled, players. Coaching opts for players with more time and trust rather than the young talent that needs the opportunity to develop.
This troubled coaching causes problems in game time and in player development. Rookies and young players need ice time to develop and if they never get it, they’ll end up finding it somewhere else. This will prove to be a disadvantage for New York no matter how the dice falls.
The Rangers need a switchup behind the bench. If the team can’t grab a new head coach who won’t rely on experience and trust as the basis for play and can develop young players into their primes, then they need to teach this one how to do it.