Instantly discount the idea of Alain Vigneault being in danger. The Rangers Head Coach isn’t going anywhere. Not unless the underperforming New York Rangers go on an almost season long losing streak and even then, six months into a five year deal, a change in leadership would be an extreme measure. So with the assumption that the coaching staff are secure in their jobs, changes need to be made elsewhere.
Almost every single Ranger is playing horribly. While the Rangers improved against the Flyers, they still lost to a team that was 1-7 and arguably in a bigger mess than themselves. Not a single defenseman has lived up to their billing or contract. The offense – save for Brad Richards – has been invisible. At this stage, while still early, the Rangers will need to begin to think about the season as a whole.
This market won’t allow for the Rangers to rip it up and start again and anyway, would that kind of extreme behaviour help keep Henrik Lundqvist on board beyond this season? Glen Sather will have noted the lack of offensive production. He will of course, acknowledge the huge absences in Nash, Callahan and Hagelin but even with Nash and Callahan in the line-up this team was not playing well.
Does Sather go out and get more offensive help from outside the organisation? Given the cap situation and lack of proven assets to deal, is that even a possibility? Or does the team turn to even more prospects within the system? If the Rangers continue their struggle for much longer then big, season – and franchise – altering decisions will be considered.
The problem for the Rangers right now is that there is no obvious solution in sight. There is no time table for Nash’s return and Ryan Callahan won’t be seen on the ice for a good while yet. This team is beginning to look devoid of legitimate offensive talent even though so many of the current roster have or at least had burgeoning reputations. At some stage the system changes and implementation of a new coaching staff stop being considered as excuses. The players need to deliver or Sather will be forced in to action.