New York Rangers, Mats Zuccarello
Photo by Bergen Record

The fallout from Derek Stepan breaking two rips on a late hit Friday is still coming in the form of New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault.

By Robby Sabo

New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault doesn’t want to hear it. It’s that simple.

After his team’s disappointing 4-3 loss to the Boston Bruins yesterday afternoon, he was forced to hear and read clippings on what the opposition’s head coach had to say.

To be frank, it was probably tough to hear considering his center-iceman, Derek Stepan, was hit late into the boards and suffered broken ribs on the play.

Both Julien and Brad Marchand, the man in question for running into Henrik Lundqvist in third period, questioned the acting job done by The King.

Vigneault responded appropriately, via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News:

“Well, (the Rangers public relations staff) filled me in a little bit on what was said after the game,” Vigneault said, responding to a question from the Daily News. “I mean it’s a little disappointing. Obviously everybody saw the knee to the head. The comments on Hank were very inappropriate. The way Hank conducts himself, on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets. Who would you rather have as a son, Henrik (Lundqvist) or Brad Marchand? For him to say things like that about Hank, totally wrong, and probably Claude is getting a little older and needs to check his eyesight.”

AV made the comments prior to his team’s game at MSG against the Philadelphia Flyers today.

“There’s no question it was a penalty,” Lundqvist had said after the loss. “Obviously (Marchand) is a player that plays around the net like that. That’s a situation where you’re very vulnerable as a goalie, down like that. It’s a blind hit.”

When asked about the hit by Matt Beleskey, which put his star centerman out indefinitely (Stepan), Vigneault had this to say:

“Those are things that are very tough for coaches or management to comment on,” Vigneault said of Beleskey getting away with it, answering a question from the Daily News. “You know, was it a late hit? In our opinion it definitely was. Should we help Step moving forward to better protect himself? We’re gonna try to do that. That’s the second time that has happened. By the league not saying anything about the missed call on the ice or supplemental discipline, are they sending a message to the players? Very hard for me to comment on that without getting myself in trouble, my team in trouble, and you don’t know how they see things and how they could unfold in the future so you’re better off biting your lip, teaching your players to better protect themselves and move on.”

Frustration aside, the Blueshirts will have a golden opportunity to feel good about themselves as they face a struggling Flyers team for an MSG matinee on Saturday.

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