Alain Vigneault

Coaches receive a lot of unfair and unwarranted blame in sports (see Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants).

The criticism is often unfair because we as a fan base have no idea what is going on behind closed doors.

In this case however, it is about time AV shoulder’s some of the blame.

Dylan McIlrath has been a pleasant surprise for this Rangers team. After being labeled a bust last year, the former first round draft pick has come to life.

Has he made mistakes? Sure, but this is a part of the rookie process and can only be corrected if he plays.

So what does AV do with McIlrath after he scores a goal and is +2 in his last five games?

Makes him a healthy scratch of course.

At a time when the Rangers are struggling defensively, McIlrath is just the type of player the Rangers need.

Personnel moves like this and the overall lack of adjustment or accountability is alarming.

Players like the above mentioned Kreider and Hayes seem to keep getting free passes for their lack of production, while Viktor Stalberg, Oscar Lindberg, and Dylan McIlrath continue to be AV’s whipping boys.

Although Andrew Gross interviewed AV today about Kevin Hayes’ play. It looks like there may be some hope.

On Hayes’ play:

“At this time unless something changes, he’s definitely not going to play.  I think we all have our tipping points and I think Kevin has had an extra long leash”

AV goes on to say:

“In Kevin’s case I think we made it clear our expectations about him and what we felt he could do were very high and obviously he hasn’t lived up to that. Did we overestimate his possibilities? I don’t know. Time will tell.  But I do know what we’re seeing now is not good enough.”

On whether he believes Hayes has worked hard enough:

“No, no I don’t. I think that part of work also is just not on the ice and off the ice, but it’s in the preparation.”

AV better continue to make some adjustments or else he could be the next Tom Renney.

I also believe Vigneault has to be careful how he handles Henrik Lundqvist, because he could have some goalie drama on his hands if he is not careful.

Speaking of The King…