Head coach Alain Vigneault is finding himself on the hot seat after the New York Rangers present a 3-7-2 record since the start of the season. However, his veteran defenseman Marc Staal is coming to his defense in an interview with the New York Daily News saying that the players are the ones to blame.
“It’s not a coaching issue. It’s everyone,” Staal told the Daily News. “Everyone needs to be better. We’re 3-7-2. We’ve got to find a way to win games together, and if you’re not gonna do that together, you’re not gonna turn it around. So we’re all on the same page in that regard of trying to turn this thing around.”
The Rangers have yet to win two games in a row this year, while both netminders Henrik Lundqvist and Ondrej Pavelec are struggling. Staal made sure to explain that Vigneault's leadership and experience are still respected in the dressing room, but that players don't appear ready to start the game strongly.
“We have the same pre-scout before every game. (Vigneault’s) done it the same way since he’s been here. It’s not anything new to us,” Staal said. “I don’t think it’s lost on anybody when we get on the ice. I think it’s just being in the right mental frame to have that intensity and emotion right at the start of the game. The Xs and Os stuff takes care of itself.”
Hopefully Staal's teammates got his message and will be ready tonight as they face the Vegas Golden Knights.