Vigneault calls out Lundqvist’s play for team’s collapse


Is there a more delusional coach in the NHL right now than Alain Vigneault? In a pre-game presser yesterday, the coach pointed a finger at everyone else but himself for the Rangers most recent collapse.

What Happened

In his first meeting with the media since the announcement from management that they were going to rebuild, he laid blame for the team’s issues on the following:

The NY Post

“There is no doubt that when this story broke a couple of weeks ago that the mindset in the dressing room has been a little challenging…”

So according to the coach, an article by Larry Brooks titled “Rangers Going to Blow it All Up” sent the team into a chaotic downward spiral in their own zone.

Here’s the opening paragraph:

There is no ambivalence within management. The Blueshirts, we’re told on good authority, view the Feb. 26 trade deadline as a unique opportunity to refresh the roster and replenish the organization, regardless of where the club stands in relation to a playoff spot.

That’s all it takes to take your team of veterans off their game? “Good Authority”? Look deeper Mr. Vigneault.

Henrik Lundqvist

Yes. He blamed the Rangers only saving grace this season. And he did it multiple times in his presser. Here are the quotes:

  1. We started our season 4-7-2 and were a little inconsistent in the goaltending department…”
  2. We came back from the bye week and since that time we have been on a 3-9 run, a little inconsistent in the goaltedning department…”
  3. “Hank has been working with Ben, I’m sure that their hard work together will pay off.”

That’s 3 times where he indirectly or directly laid it at Lundqvist’s skates? Just how disconnected from reality does a head coach have to be? Apparently very.

The Rangers are 2nd in the NHL for High Danger Scoring Chances Against with 554, only the Islanders give up more. That is 10 a game! By the way, his goaltenders combined rank 4th in High Danger Save % at 89.71. That means he should be kissing their feet and not telling them to be better.

When your system gives up that many dangerous chances, you should look in the mirror before laying blame on anyone but yourself Mr. Vigneault.

Twitter Reactions

Reactions on social media to his comments came fast and furious. Most of them are not fit for print. However, here are some we can show:

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Note: AV quotes pulled from SNY
Note2: Stats from Natural Stat Trick


  • Just fire this loser who constantly blames everyone but himself overrated and arrogant for no reason get him the hell out

  • Come on, guys. Goaltending HAS been inconsistent. AV’s players have mostly underperformed, by their own standards.
    Hank has been pulled how many times this season?
    There’s plenty of blame to go around.
    A rebuild and coaching shakeup is the only play here.

    • You are absolutely right but the Anti-AV crowd don’t let facts come into their discussions. You will still hear people blame him for having Staal-Holden out on the ice for all those game winning tying and game winning goals against in the Ottawa series. They seem to forget or rather don’t care that the Staal-Holden combo was one for a whopping 1 game winning or game tying goal the entire series.

      • It’s as if they have nothing else to talk about but how bad they say AV is. What gets me is so many times it’s not a true statement. It’s usually just an opinion but sometimes a flat out false statement like the ones you mentioned Mike. I don’t understand what this coach did to have so many fans hate the guy that they’ll just keep talking about plays in Ottawa a year ago that didn’t even happen the way they say in the first place. Yes Hank had a lot of really good or great games. But overall we’ve had plenty of times Pavelec didn’t do much at all and times where Hank gave up several goals. He’s been pulled a few times now. But I guess it’s better to take what AV said and think the worst. Don’t think that he’s possibly talking about both goalies when he said the goaltending. Just figure he bashing Hank. Don’t think that maybe he’s talking about how there’s been some good runs but too many times there were bad and the goaltending happen to stink then. It’s better to just think of it as he’s trying to blame Hank for everything. The whole team sucked this year and he knows it. He doesn’t really think they’re where they are cause of Hank. Nobody lived up to what they were asked to. Zibanejad wasn’t no great top line center, Hayes wasn’t a 2nd line center, Pacalec wasn’t as good as Raanta and Lias wasn’t NHL ready. Gorton has been pulling pieces like Brassard n Stepan and beginning his rebuild since those moves. I just wonder if they would have made the announcement about rebuilding before the season would AV still catch this grief. Who am I kidding or course he would. I just really hope the next coach makes our team as competitive as we’ve been under AV for the most part. I don’t care who’s coaching this team now. It would not have been any better. Fans still expecting wins against teams like Boston n Dallas with all the guys we got missing. It ain’t happening. I really hope AV goes to a good team and wins the cup. I don’t care what anyone says. He’s been a good coach.

  • I think it is the defense system,3 defense coaches in 3 years.there are always missed assignments and guys wide open in front of the net ,so how is that Lundquist fault.

    • Tom is the defense to blame for all those 60 foot wrist shots from the side boards that go in? How about the shots from behind the goal line that have gone in over the last 2 years? Hank’s play has gone done steadily over the last few years. For all of his heroic play that doesn’t shield him from being criticized when it’s warranted.

    • Tom I wonder myself why the D stinks every year and that could be the area that I’m not happy with AV. But I also can’t say cause we had a solid D the first few years under AV so who knows.

  • Sounds like a dead man walking, to me. His time in NY is almost identical to Van. He had an elite goalie and even more talent there. Still couldn’t get it done. In all fairness he took Tort’s team to the SCF. To blame Lundqvist for the teams poor play is ridiculous. He’s the only player with a pulse on this lifeless NYR squad. If goalies could wear the”C”, it should be on him. He’s the only Ranger worthy of it.

  • Hey come on goaltending has been an issue of late, that’s not to say that about 80% of on Ice play has also been abysmal. All of the regulars are waiting for me to say it again but I was thrilled to see Nash , Grabner and Holden all be involved in the scoring last night. No worries Hayes had his once a month good night ,so when the aforementioned three are darning new colors we’ll still have # 13 to lead the Herculean rebuild that all are promising. OK weekenders LMHI.

    • I like the LMHI new look. You aren’t going to change the mindless AV is to blame for everything crowd. Wasnt that long ago he was blamed for concussions. You can’t make it up.

      The writers on this site have criticized AV for not holding players accountable. Sorry the RIGHT players. Yet when Brendan Smith was benched 10 times for his horrific play, the same crowd criticized the move and said AV’s team lack physical presence. These were also the same people who actually wanted Dylan Mcilrath on the top line and Adam Clandenning as a top 6 dman. When Miller was coughing up the puck left and right, playing a senior beer league game (no body contact) and was benched for ANOTHER turnover that lead to a crucial goal against what happened. His was criticized for benching the 3rd leading scorer. What happened when he put Miller on the 4th line in the Canadiens series. He was on the verge of being run out of town. Nobody cared Tanner Glass scores the game winning goal or outscored Miller in goals and points during the playoffs despite playing less games and minutes. The same people over the last 3 seasons would tell you JT was to be relied upon come the playoffs for his scoring. Yeah just overlook the 1 in 40 number, most likely AV’s fault as well. He is constantly getting criticized for “hating the young kids”. I’m sorry is Brady Skjei a veteran? What about Kevin Hayes? Or Jimmy Vesey? Oh that’s right facts don’t get in the way of a tweet or any anti-AV missive.

      Yes he has his flaws but what coach doesn’t. But to overlook what he has done over his time in NY is asinine. I also love the fact that he is to blame for inserting McD in the line up for game 7 vs Tampa Bay. Who was he supposed to play? Oh that’s right Dylan Mcilrath. I also love how the same crowd say he cost the Rangers the Cup, 3 defensemen playing with a cracked knee cap and 2 broken ankles……. YEAH BLAME AV. Did people actually think that the Blackhawks would just give the Cup away? This is beyond insane!

      Hayes Herculean….. hahahahahahahahahahahaha. You made my day!

  • Let’s just make Lundqvist the player coach so you can feel gushy and warm about you’re beloved player. Comfortable situations in pro sports are death. You live on the edge. Did you learn anything from the ultimate leader Mark Messier??? Winning is all it is about. And the truth hurts. Even when it’s a beloved player who gave ranger fans many a great performance. But it’s time to be honest about performance in the tough times. No one really likes to do that. WHETHER AV IS STILL COACH OR NOT. WHAT HE STATED ABOUT THE GOALTENDING IS ONE HUNDRED PERCENT RIGHT

    • And Messier was booed and criticized during his time as a Ranger. 92-93 was a dark season and Messier was booed non stop. If Ranger fans can boo Mark Messier than Hank can take criticism for his poor play. You said it perfectly. Ranger fans now and days want to look the other way when it comes to their fan favorites bad play.

  • Fire AV now. He has lost the room with his stupid player deployment and defensive scheme. The only reason he still has a job is because of hank. Not to mention that he has not developed our kids, to try and save his job. FIRE AV NOW.

  • Can we trade AV to the Blackhawks, for Joel Quenneville?

  • How many times do we have to hear Lundqvist say that his confidence and mental focus is a large problem of his play. So if you know that every time Hank plays the Leafs and gets lit up like the 4th of July, why not start Pavelec in place of the mentally unstable King? It’s a no brainier IMO to make that decision, but yet a coach that gets paid 4 million dollars a year to pick his nose and blame everyone else still gets to keep his job of unmotivating those lazy millionaires on the ice. I wish that I could personally make the decisions for this team, but unfortunately all that I can do is remain a fan of this misdirected team. Please shake this team up. You owe it to your fans!!!!!!!!!

    • I think there’s think there must be a lot of young fans too that are in AV wagon. Cause I know for me and other fans near my age we’ve seen the years of no playoffs and the years of it’s nice we made it but we ain’t got no shot at a cup. It feels like their fans that have a sense of entitlement as if the rangers are supposed to automatically make the playoffs and have a good shot. No that hasn’t been the case. The only time that was the case in the last 20 plus years was under AV in the first 2 or 3 years. We’ve been far more exciting and yet never had a team full of stars. Look at the talent the Caps n Blues have had for years and never came close to where we were. I really can’t believe that these AV haters can’t at least realize we’ve had so,e good years with AV and have lost some key veterans over the last few years and this year suffering big time from injuries. You would think the team was great before he got here and he screwed it up. For a team that has 2 of its more important players not score I’m the playoffs other the. A few goals between them and really only one reliable guy Brassard in the playoffs who is also gone I think we’ve done more then we should have. Fans seem to forget those come back series against the Pens n Caps. But no instead they credit MSL’s Mom passing away for the comeback. All I’m saying is of course he’s made mistakes but so did Scotty Bowman. I see a comment like “he doesn’t develope kids” and I say then where did Hayes, JT, Skjei, Vesey n Kreider learn? He’s done a lot of good things n win a ton of hockey games and I don’t see another coach in the waiting that we should fire AV to go get. I really hope I’m looking at Sutter’s stupid mug but I don’t think that’s happening anyway. NHL radio said he wouldn’t even want to coach here and maybe not anywhere now

      • Good morning all, jp you ate so right. I’m with you and the entitlement rational. There is an entire age group who believes that the team should win “because well like we’re fans or whatever” . Just as they navigate the hazards of adult life ,if they screw up blame someone else. They told me what to do. Take responsibility. As I stated earlier the goaltending has been questionable. Most times it seems as a large percentage of the on ice players are phoneing it in . It’s not the fault of AV. And as fans we do not have a guarantee of a playoff contender every season. During his tenure AV had led this team to the playoffs with regularity. This season everything has been tried to get these players to reach maximum output. We all don’t agree with every decision however players must shoulder a large chunk of the on ice production. And all things considered we are not that far out. There are teams who at the start of the year were on paper supposed to be far ahead of there we are now. The first game that I attended was up in the ” old ” garden . I’ll be 64 this year and remember when we had no chance with 6 teams in the league. I said earlier everyone wanted Esposito out of the booth and behind the bench . It didn’t take the villagers long to rakes and pitch forks. AV isn’t the problem . It takes more effort on the players part then we are witnessing. As I look back Esposito didn’t have Hayes, so I shouldn’t blame him. OK youngins LMHI.

        • I should have proof read that. My fault 100%

          • No need to, we picked up what you were laying down. People forget that a the beginning of the year the hockey experts predicted the Rangers were going to struggle to make the playoffs. A majority of the predictions had the Rangers falling short on making the playoffs.

        • Another good point Mike. That’s why I say I think there’s fans that are still young n don’t realize we’re not an automatic for making the playoffs. They probably didn’t even pay any attention to those preseason predictions. I know we both felt this team was in trouble due to the centers we have or don’t have. Now with all the teams getting better each year as evidence by the standings so close all year long and us coming into the season without our top center and questions at every other center position why should we be in the playoffs automatically? We shouldn’t. I know all teams go through injuries but they don’t all make the playoffs either. Let’s face it we got some pretty good players out. Besides how could we possibly win without the infamous 3rd leading scorer Buch who couldn’t be scratched for one game without all kinds of craziness afterwards. C. Tom I remember the days of Espo and it would have been great if he just stayed in the booth cause man o man when he took over it was all over. These fans today think AV likes the vets over kids? Espo trades them all. Kelly Miller, Tony Granado Sandstrom and everyone else was gone. I used to call him the “!ad Scientist”. He brought in old vets like Marcel Dione and the team sank like a stone. Remember he was the GM n head coach st one point if I remember correctly. I should write down some of the names of the fans that I see really give AV the business. Not the ones that just think it’s time for a change or may have a reason for a change. I’m talking about the fans that don’t even comment about the topic but instead just say fire AV. It’s really amazing how many fans think that all they have to do is fire AV and everything will be great again. Boy it’s a tough crowd to coach for cause you could you do all kinds of good things but if you come up short and don’t win the cup you’re a bum and they forget any good you did do. I think back at all the fans saying Torts doesn’t know how to play an offensive game and only focuses on D. I used to say do you think he’s telling his guys don’t go anywhere near their goal and don’t shoot the puck. He surely seemed to know how to get guys scoring and even have a good PP with Columbus. Now they’re struggling themselves so I guess Torts should be fired too. That’s another thing I love when fans say AV gets to keep his job while the team is doing so n so. If you make a mistake or a few mistakes do you think you should get to keep your job to try and do better next time or should you just be fired? I really hope AV goes to a team with young players and wins the cup. But I’m sure they’ll be more stupid comments saying how he was lucky to have great goalies or players or whatever. It couldn’t be cause the guy has been coaching a long time and has had a lot of success and come real close already. Where has Barry Trots brought his Caps with that talent and their 2 president trophies? Where’s the team from Ottawa that was 2 goal away from the final last year? I guess there should be coaches fired all over the place. For the fans that say the players don’t want to play for AV no more they look like they have plenty of jump in their game to me. I read the remark from the writer AV is delusional for thinking the team has a chance to make the playoffs. Well it looks like the players are delusional too then cause I’ve heard them saying they’re only a few points out and still have a chance. Don’t we want to see our guys have that “never give up” mentalit? The last thing I will say is I hope all the AV haters are getting a big kick out of all the stupid gum chewing jokes and all the other kiddy talk cause there’s more chance then not that you’re gonna be saying new jokes about the next coach when he doesn’t deliver the cup or maybe not even get you to the playoffs that you’re automatically supposed to make. Ok C. Tom LMHI. I crack up every time I see that now. Me, you and Mike O should start our own Rangers blog called Let Me Have It. We can write about our reasons for defending the coach and why we think guys like Hayes ain’t gonna cut it st top 6 Center n then throw in our own stupid jokes and end it with OK. LMHI

  • One last thing the predictions made before the season were actually right on. The team is struggling to make the playoffs. Forget about the injuries for a second and think back to right before the bye week break n the all star game break. We were in a playoff spot but it was real tight. That’s exactly what the predictions were for the ones that’s predicted we would make it in. Now we’re right where the predictions were for the people that felt we wouldn’t make it in. I wonder what fans would say if we continue on with bringing up kids from Hartford and still make the playoffs. I would expect something like “AV is clueless. Doesn’t he know we could have a better pick if we finish lower”. I think that sounds about right. Anyway yeah Mike the predictions are pretty accurate no?

    Ok C. Tom. LMHI

    • jp I hope everyone reads your comments you nailed every point. I don’t exactly recall, was it Esposito who also traded for the geriatric Laflur along with the severely damaged La Fontaine. At the time he had already suffered about 6 concussions in 4or5 years. I like the idea of the three of us and an LMHI site. Or should we stay keep driving the neophytes crazy.

      • We can do booth. c. Tom. We can always stay here to combat the AV haters but we can also go on the road for bigger n better things.Mike Should be the voice of the team cause he’s very good with talking facts and me n you can be the grumpy old men bringing up guys like Hadfield, Gilbert, Ratelle n Vickers and saying how much better they were then these guys today

        • You are right. Mike can be the front man with us as cantankerous sidekicks. On that note I watch on Spectrum Cable and the MSG feed is down.

          • Cantankerous but humorous .

          • I meant to say both not booth before. I got directv and had no sound. But it was blacked out upstate NY where I live now. But I got the MSG Go app and watched it on my I pad. The team is definitely playing to try and win. We should see some interesting hockey games from here on in.

  • Coincidence, I also retired upstate. Warren County. I got the signal back in the third. I have to believe that as a team they must know that they can make it in.

    • Very cool. So you’re living in my favorite area of NY. I started going to Brant Lake when I was a kid in 72 and still go up there sometimes. I’m in Schoharie county about 30 miles west of Albany and I love it here. I love hunting n fishing and love being able to do those things within minutes of my home. I go to Albany when Hartford Wolfpack come to play the Albany Devils (River Rats) team. I do get to the Garden once in a while. I take the thruway down to Suffren, NJ and jump on the train to Penn Station. It’s a bit of ride but I do it so my kids get to go. I go to Buffalo when the rangers are there which is actually better cause I sit right at Center Ice in the first few rows for half the price of what it costs to sit in the 200’s sections st MSG. There’s more Rangers fans then Sabres fans. LMHI

      • I was in the town next door , Chestertown, for about 15 years . Same exit on The NORTHWAY # 25. Moved down to Glens Falls last summer exit 18. New apartment building no maintenance to worry about . Just next to the Hospital along the Hudson. Two blocks from and looking down on the Civic Center where the ECHL Adirondack Thunder play . They are a Calgary affiliate. It’s fun hockey, still like Slapshot. The Mike ,JP and C. Tom Hockey internet radio blog. We can end every session with OK Let Us Have It !

        • I know Chestertown and rt8 I believe it is with e town of Hague I believe it is. I’ve been on those roads a million times. I’m gonna take a plot shot here and ask youdid you know Sheriff Fred Monroe? He was Sherriff up there for many years. I met him in 1979 when my brother had an accident with a friends car. Really nice man. He put us up in his cabin in Loon Lake. We were camping up there at the time. Where do hear about a sheriff doing that. Now you’re about an hour north of me so we can get working on
          Eat Me Have It Pod Cast show starring me, you and Mike. We can talk about all the stuff that gets fans pissed off so they can let us have it afterwards

  • Lundqvist is the only player worth a damn on my Rangers. Unfortunately for him, he spent his prime on a team that refused to play defense, let alone offense. Very disappointed for him. All time great goalie….no Stanley cup?? Only in New York

  • jp yes I met Fred Monroe. When I first moved up there 15 years ago he was the town supervisor. He retired about 2 years ago. He was always ready to help when we were newcomers. Most of the locals are not very fond of “flatlanders”, but he was different. Hunting the Adirondacks was fun but what a chore. No open fields, just trees, rocks and cliffs. No need for a scope 20 yards was a great chance, my old Winchester model 94 was all that I needed up there. And yes the LMHI podcast would be a blast.

  • I’m an islanders fan but love all hockey. Not for anything but AV is an a*****e. He’s lucky he has Lundquist or the Rangers would be tied with the islanders for goals against. Best thing to do is get rid of him. Never liked the Rangers signing him. I always felt he was full of himself. The way he acts you’d think he was better than Al Arbour or Scotty Bowman. Hopefully both the islanders and rangers can get back on top and bring hockey back to the big Apple. Islanders ain’t gonna be that easy being Snow is still there but hopefully after the season him and AV will bump into each other on the unemployment line talking about what they should have done

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