Ulf Samuelsson/Scott Arniel
Let’s be fair:
While both of these coaches have an impact on the team, no one truly knows to what degree they make decisions.
Is the defensive system Samuelsson’s or Vigneault’s?
Only the people in the locker room know for sure.
Either way, Samuelsson is the defensive coach so he certainly deserves a portion of the blame for his players’ poor performance throughout the season.
Yes, the players often made terrible decisions that lead to bad coverage and turnovers, but a continual lack of defensive adjustment had me scratching my head at times.
The Rangers’ defensive would make basic defensive gaffes that would continue without any improvement.
Opponents would be left alone in front of Lundqvist and the Rangers defensemen would never change their positioning to cover said players.
That falls on the coaching.
When coverage continues to be a problem it is either a result of players that lack skill or a system that doesn’t fit the players’ skill set.
Arniel’s power play had moments of brilliance throughout the season. At it’s best, the Rangers’ power play moved the puck quickly and efficiently which lead to productivity on the score sheet.
However, when the Blueshirts needed their special teams to come through in the clutch, they often sputtered out like a car with 200,000 miles on it.