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Torts To The Canucks, Vigneault To Broadway

Goodman Sports hockey specialist Robert Wranovics reports:


Well now that the Cup is over, appropriate coaching arrangements have been made. The Rangers fired Coach John Tortorella after his 2nd round exit from the playoffs against the Bruins, and went with former Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault. Vigneault was let go by the Canucks after being swept in the 1st round by the San Jose Sharks.

It remains to be seen who benefits more from the coaching swap. Keep in mind that hockey in Vancouver commands the same, if not more, attention from the media than it does in New York. The Canucks are playing with fire. They have built a win-now team and cannot afford to underachieve anymore. The Sedin Brothers are also up for contract this year, which means if Tortorella's fiery coaching style isn't for them, they very well could leave town. One thing for is for sure – Torts must keep a level head with the media and not repeat the mistake he made in New York. Telling the media to "Kiss my ass" in regards to benching your star player, Brad Richards, will not go over too well in Vancouver. However, maybe the fiery attitude is much needed in Vancouver. Think about it; They looked flat in the playoffs and played with no desire and remember the loudmouth backup goalie, Roberto Luongo and the circus that locker room became. This may be exactly what the Canucks need – somebody to not tolerate nonsense and garbage hockey. Perhaps the in your face, grind it out hockey can right the ship in Vancouver. Torts has won a cup after all and knows winning hockey. Are you surprised a coach of his skill found a job?

Vigneault on the other hand, might be the wrong guy for the job in New York. I say this because there were rumblings of Messier or Gretzky stepping up for the job. Many Ranger fans would have loved to see Messier take charge. He would command the respect of the locker room that Torts did not have. Vigneault however should fare okay because of the idea of a "New Sheriff" in town and a breath of fresh air. Vigneault has a phenomenal team to work with. He has King Henrik, Rick Nash, Captain Cally and Brad Richards out on the ice every night. I believe he will make this team work for him and get far into the playoffs, but I don't believe he will win the cup with them. He has made it there with the Canucks and lost, but also was an underachiever himself out in Vancouver, as this year showed. He also may struggle with egos which can destroy a team, as Luongo has showed us. On the other hand, he has a better team here in New York than he did out in Vancouver and so the results should show that. Expect the Rangers to score and to do more than dump and chase hockey. Vigneault will also have the benefit of having an extraordinary goalie in Lundqvist that he did not have out in Vancouver, but more importantly a great goalie with great numbers in the playoffs. (After all, shutting out the Capitals is quite impressive)

We must keep in mind that Hockey is played on the ice and not on paper. We will keep you posted as the tale of two coaches develops next season. Who do you think will have a better year? Torts and the Canucks or Vigneault and the Rangers? Comment below!

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