Found June 18, 2013 on
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Don’t expect a huge difference in performance under Vigneault.
With Alain Vigneault on board, the Rangers are likely going to be changing their styles of play. But with that style change comes understanding what that change will bring. This is something we’ve covered a few times here, but it’s worth digging deeper into the puck possession metrics to see how exactly the Rangers will be differing in styles of play, and how effective AV’s more conservative style is at driving puck possession.
Make no mistake, there are very few coaches as aggressive as John Tortorella. The Rangers sat at the top of the league in GF% (goals for percentage, GF/[GF+GA]), CF%, and SF% this past season, which was likely the most efficient on-ice performance of any Torts-coached Ranger team. They may not have been pretty, they may have been maddeningly inconsistent, but they were efficient in puck possession as a team. Vigneault’s Canucks, however, were not in the top-10 in these categories this past season.
But it is unfair to really rate Vigneault –or Tortorella for that matter– with just one lockout-shortened season of stats. So let’s look at the last three years for these coaches:
From the table, you can see a direct trend upward for Tortorella as his players began buying into the system. For Vigneault, you can see a direct trend downward. On the surface it looks bad, but there are probably more factors at play here. For the Canucks, it’s tough to drive possession when half your defense is injured at any given time. Also, they lacked quality depth players that could drive puck possession (see: Hagelin, Carl).
However there’s more to puck possession than just measuring CF% and SF%. There’s also face off location; the ability to force teams to take face offs in their defensive zone. This illustrates the ability to get the puck out of the defensive zone and begin the attack. This is a secondary aspect of puck possession that is often overlooked.
This is where things get interesting. AV’s Canucks hovered around 32% for the three year average, while Torts’ Rangers had a whopping 5% jump in the lockout-shortened 2013 season, up from 30%. Those first two years Torts relied on a low-zone collapse, it wasn’t until he started mixing in a strong-side overload in 2013 that the Rangers started being more effective in the defensive zone. Vancouver, who routinely played the strong side overload in the defensive zone, was much more consistent.
So what does all this tell us?
It means that Alain Vigneault will not bring sweeping changes to the Rangers in regards to puck possession. He may get more out of this club on the powerplay. He may get them to block less shots. He may get them to play a less-exhausting 1-2-2 forecheck. But one thing he will not do is turn the Rangers into a dominant puck possession force. What you saw last year during the last month of the season was the Rangers at their best, and barring any significant roster turnover, that is what their best will be, Torts or Vigneault.
What does Vigneault bring then? He brings a different voice in the locker room. He may bring them a better powerplay (he will certainly get them to move more). He will bring a more conservative approach to the forecheck. Maybe a new voice is what this team needs to be more consistent. That we won’t know until a few months into the 2013-2014 season. But if you’re expecting a completely dominant team because of a coaching change, you’re in for some major disappointment.
BEST OF MAXIM
The New York Rangers have reportedly hired Alain Vigneault to be their next head coach. The contract is for five years and worth $10 million, according to CBC Sports.
The ex-Vancouver Canucks coach replaces the departed John Tortorella, who was shown the door by the club after the Rangers were ousted by the Boston Bruins in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Pat Leonard at the Daily News reports that Ulf Samuelsson is a leading candidate to be hired as one of Alain Vigneault’s assistants. Samuelsson, who was the head coach of Modo (SEL) last season, has apparently left that job. moved to Phoenix and his looking for a job in the NHL.
The former Rangers defenseman was an assistant in Phoenix from 2006 through 2011.
With Alain Vigneault in the fold as the newest New York Rangers head coach, pending official confirmation from the club of course, thoughts turn to whom he might pick to assist him behind the bench. As it stands, only Tortorella was relieved of his duties meaning Mike Sullivan, Jim Schoenfeld and goalie coach Benoit Allaire [...]
The Rangers have announced that they will introduce Alain Vigneault as the new head coach Friday afternoon during a press conference from Radio City Music Hall. Vigneault officially signed his five-year $10 million contract this week. It is assumed that the Rangers may announce the assistant coaches at this press conference. Previous head coach John Tortorella was fired shortly after...
Amid reports that Alain Vigneault is the New York Rangers' choice to replace fired coach John Tortorella, the team still isn't ready to make that announcement.
Vigneault has emerged from a group of candidates that included former Rangers captain Mark Messier as the favorite to land the job. He interviewed at the club's organizational meetings in California and then met...
Now that Alain Vigneault is all but the Rangers new head coach, what exactly are the Rangers getting? Jeff Klein at the New York Times gives us some insight...
"Going by his track record, Vigneault, 52, will stress offense and puck possession over forechecking, tolerate the mistakes of young players instead of bench them at the first missed assignment, and be a good communicator...
According to source, Alain Vigneault has agreed to 5-year deal w/ #Rangers. Told it's in the $2 Million per year range. #NHL
— Louis Jean (@LouisJean_TVA) June 17, 2013
Confirming that Alain Vigneault gets 10 million over 5 years as coach of NYR.Told that was same offer that Dallas had on table for AV.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) June 17, 2013
(Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
When a new head coach arrives at a club it’s not just coaching staffs that tend to follow. Players who have built relationships often do the same, and with Maxim Lapierre approaching free agency, the opportunity to join the Rangers seems a logical one for all concerned.
Lapierre is a hard working hockey player that adds depth to the bottom six and is...
Larry Brooks is reporting that the Rangers are expected to officially name Alain Vigneault as the head coach of the Rangers this week, and the announcement will coincide with the dismissals of Mike Sullivan and Jim Schoenfeld as assistant coaches. Benoit Allaire will remain as the goaltenders coach, and Schoenfeld will still be with the team as assistant General Manager. Sullivan...
Alain it is.
Every site you go to, every poll you read, most Rangers fans wanted Alain Vigneault over any other coach on the job market. Some wanted Mark Messier. A few wanted Dave Tippett. Maybe three people wanted Guy Boucher or Lindy Ruff. But for the most part, it has been an AV love fest from the fans and media alike.
I understand the appeal. He’s the most winningest coach...
Yesterday, I posted that Ulf Samuelsson and Newell Brown have been mentioned as possible additions to Alain Vigneault's team behind the Rangers bench. Now, Larry Brooks at the New York Post adds a new name to the mix saying that Scott Arniel, the former Blue Jackets head coach and long-time friend of Vigneault, could be an option.
Arniel remains under contract with the Canucks...
Here's some coaching talk from TSN's Darren Dreger:
I'm hearing the Alain Vigneault saga will conclude with his formal introduction as head coach of the New York Rangers on Friday. #TSN
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 19, 2013
Dallas Stars continue to sort through coaching candidates. Nill will meet with Ruff again this week and Tortorella...
Could Raymond make the move to NYC?
Earlier this week we had a look at Maxim Lapierre and whether he might be a player that follows his former coach Alain Vigneault to New York this summer. Another such candidate – and like Lapierre, a pending free agent – is Mason Raymond. The prospect of Raymond may excite fans a little more than the loyal foot soldier that is Lapierre.
Time to act
It’s a complicated summer for Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis. For the first time in his tenure, he faces the need to tinker with the core of this hockey club and make some important choices.
After inheriting a team with a significant number of pieces that would eventually take the team to the brink of glory in 2011 and needing the summers preceding only to maintain...
From the New York Rangers:
#NYR will hold a Press Conference on Friday 6/21 from @RadioCity. @MSGNetworks will have live coverage starting at 11am EST.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) June 19, 2013
This press conference may or may not have everything to do with the team's naming of Alain Vigneault as its new coach. Okay, that's really what it's about.