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Rangers Do The Right Thing Hiring Vigneault

By at 17 June, 2013, 9:43 am

You knew the Rangers would do the right thing here. And with the hiring of Alain Vigneault, it seems like they have.

After the tough love and abrasive approach of John Tortorella, the Blueshirts needed a change and Vigneault’s soft but firm approach seems just right for the team right now, so much so that those who do sports betting on NHL may just pick the Rangers to win the Cup in 2014.

His former assistant with the Vancouver Canucks, Rick Bowness, who was recently hired by the Tampa Bay Lightning to be an that team’s top assistant, said in an interview with the New York Daily News, Vigneault was a special person.

“Ten minutes into the interview, I knew I was going to hire him, (because of) his honesty, straightforwardness, strength of character,” Bowness said to Pat Leonard of the Daily News. “You knew he was going to be very loyal, very committed and very hardworking. You could just tell.”

One of the biggest complaints of Tortorella’s regime was that he stifled offensive creativity in favor of a defensive blocking shots approach. That cost him this year with the Rangers power play going in the tank during the playoffs.

But defense wins championships and Vigneault was able to balance both offense and defense to allow the Canucks to become a powerhouse, winning two President’s Trophies and reaching the Finals once.

“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 to the Daily News. “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.”

Plus after coaching in hockey hotbeds like Montreal and Vancouver, Vigneault should have no problem adjusting to New York. In fact, it may be easier because unlike the Canadian markets, the pressure can be a little less in the states.

“He’s been through a lot of pressure situations,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said. “He can handle a lot of pressure. All the heat that he’s had to put up with in Vancouver, he’s handled it extremely well, and it never seemed to bother him.”

And that includes working with the New York media, which was very hostile under Tortorella.

“The media will not intimidate him one bit,” Bowness said to the Daily News. “I never saw one thing that there was something in the media that rattled him. He has thick skin, and he doesn’t care. The media will not get to him one bit.”

It’s too early to tell if Bovada sportsbook for hockey has the Rangers as the 2014 favorite, but hiring Vigneault is definitely a good start for the Blueshirts.

 

 

 

 

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By at 28 April, 2015, 12:35 am

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By at 28 April, 2015, 12:30 am

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By at 27 April, 2015, 10:22 pm

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Kuznetsov’s goal leads Capitals past Isles 2-1 in Game 7 (The Associated Press)

By at 27 April, 2015, 10:02 pm

Unburdened by the catastrophes of past Game 7s littering the Washington Capitals’ playoff history, rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov delivered a breathtaking, series-clinching goal that got Alex Ovechkin’s seal of approval. ”Pretty sick,” Ovechkin declared. …

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NHL Three Stars: Kuznetsov steps up for Caps; Johnson leads Bolts to Game 7 (Puck Daddy)

By at 27 April, 2015, 8:47 pm

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NHL play-offs quarterfinal results (Reuters)

By at 27 April, 2015, 8:20 pm

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By at 27 April, 2015, 8:08 pm

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Paul Pierce taunts Islanders at Game 7 as Wizards rock Capitals gear (Video) (Puck Daddy)

By at 27 April, 2015, 6:18 pm

Synergy! That’s the name of the game in Washington, DC, as Ted Leonsis’s Washington Wizards closed out the Toronto Raptors on Sunday and then sat against the glass on Monday to watch Teddy AOL’s Washington Capitals play in Game 7 against the New York Islanders.  Now, if you had to guess which Wizards player would enthusiastically taunt the Islanders oh forget it you know it’s Paul Pierce: The Truth had a huge grin on his face as the teams lined up for a draw and he got his glass-bang on. Granted, Pierce still saves his best material for vanquished NBA foes , but hey, in the end, it’s pretty much just mocking a bunch of Canadians right? Now, how do we get John Wall on the Zamboni… Images via Mike Honcho.

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Puck Daddy Live Chat: NY Islanders vs. Washington Capitals in Game 7! (Puck Daddy)

By at 27 April, 2015, 4:17 pm

It’s Game 7 between the New York Islanders and the Washington Capitals from Washington, DC, and we’re live chatting it! Can the Caps overcome their Game 7 disasters? Can the Isles keep Nassau open with another round of playoff games (this time against the Rangers)? The fun begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.  You bring the funny; we bring the insight, odd rugby photo on the template and the Hamburger Women. Live Blog Game 7 – Islanders vs. Capitals live chat!

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Four keys for Islanders vs. Capitals in Game 7 (Puck Daddy)

By at 27 April, 2015, 3:49 pm

The Washington Capitals host the New York Islanders in Game 7 of their Metro Division semifinal series on Monday night.  The Islanders successfully avoided losing their last game at Nassau Coliseum; they need to win to squeeze out a few more games in the old barn. The Capitals meanwhile, are looking to overcome a decade of Game 7 failures, many of which had come at home. Here are four keys to Game 7: 1. Forget The Past Alex Ovechkin’s first Game 7 at Verizon Center was my first Game 7 at Verizon Center: Joffrey Lupul, scoring an overtime winner on the power play in 2008. That game had something I’d experience in the other Game 7 losses for the Capitals: a creeping sense of dread throughout the game, and then a collective panic when adversity struck. Game 7s in DC tend to create a sold-out building and a home bench full of clenched sphincters from the opening whistle on. Coach Barry Trotz has asked the Capitals to learn from losing five of seven Game 7s during the Ovechkin Era; they’re better off just trying to forget they’ve ever happened, or else repeat the sins of the past. Speaking of Ovechkin … 2. Backstrom and Ovechkin vs. Tavares Backstrom has been the Capitals’ best player this series, maybe this season, with six points in six games, winning 56 percent of his faceoffs in 21:40 per game. This star-making, MVP-level run has to continue in the series’ most important game. Ovechkin has 2 goals and 2 assists, but it’s his Game 7 output that has Capitals fans worried: He’s been held without a goal and was limited to five shots in the last three Game 7s he’s played in (two against the Rangers, one against the Bruins). His playoff frustrations are legendary, to the point where he hinted at an officiating conspiracy after Game 7 in 2013.   The captain has to lead in Game 7. Captain John Tavares, meanwhile, has six points in six games in the series (2 goals, 4 assists) and this is just as much his time to shine. He had four overtime winners in the regular season to lead the Islanders, and had 45 points in 41 road games. He’s as clutch as they come; now, for the first time in his career, he has a chance to advance his team to the semifinals. 3. The Halak Factor According to ESPN, Jaroslav Halak is 4-0 when facing elimination against the Capitals and has stopped 169 of 173 shots in those games for a .977 save percentage. Of course, that incudes the three games in 2010 when he backstopped the Canadiens to a stunning 1-vs.-8 upset of the Capitals, rallying from 3-1 down. Which is to say that he’s won a Game 7 in Washington before. He’s 2-0 in his career in Game 7s with a .963 save percentage. 4.  Maybe Someone Would Like To Establish a First-Period Lead? In the previous six games, there’s been exactly one contest in which the Islanders or Capitals left the first period with a lead: Game 2 in Washington, when the Capitals rallied from the Isles’ 1-0 opening stanza for a 4-3 win. Four times, they’ve been tied 1-1; the outlier was Game 3 at Nassau, when the first period was 0-0. We only mention this because Washington was habitual about getting up early: 26-2-2 when leading after the first period in the regular season, and 4-14-5 when trailing after one. Score first. Score often, for the Caps.  Prediction:  Islanders, 3-1, continuing the Halak and Game 7 misery trends. 

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