Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/26/13
The teams swapped coaches. By definition then the Rangers are hoping to infuse the best of Alain Vigneault’s Canucks while John Tortorella wants to infuse on the West Coast – aka the Wet Coast – what worked so well for him in New York. The teams’ identity makeovers intersect tonight when Tortorella’s Canucks host Vigneault’s Rangers at Rogers Arena a preseason game unusually full of hype because of the coaches. Neither team practiced Wednesday so neither was available to discuss tonight’s game. "[Vigneault] is a great guy I’ve got nothing bad to say about him" Canucks center Ryan Kesler said earlier this month while in Newark. "It just ran its course in Vancouver. We won two Presidents Trophies under him. We went to a Stanley Cup final. "Hopefully it energizes both teams" Kesler added. "The Rangers were good the last couple of years under Torts." At their best under Tortorella the Rangers won with a blue-collar style that put emphasis on aggressive forechecking with everybody expected to block shots regardless of their on-ice role. Tortorella already said he wants the Canucks to be a "harder" team to play against and has emphasized shot blocking. In an interview with NHL.com Tortorella opined that getting that type of contribution from finesse playmakers Henrik and Daniel Sedin would be a great example to follow. In the same interview Tortorella said if injuries occur as a result "So be it." Meanwhile the Rangers while looking to retain that aggressive style are hoping Vigneault’s system leads to more offense both at even strength and on the power play. Vigneault is preaching that his players need to get to the net more and is looking to get the defensemen more involved in the rush and playing deeper in the zone. The results have been mixed so far in the preseason as the Rangers have gone 1-3-0 with eight goals and a 2-for-15 power play.
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