Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Blueshirts Responding to Flexible Vigneault

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Blueshirts Responding to Flexible Vigneault

Article excerpt

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Different players, different coaches and, certainly, different results.

The Canucks, coached -- for now -- by John Tortorella, hosted his former team, the Rangers, Tuesday night at Rogers Arena, all but mathematically eliminated from playoff consideration. The Rangers, led by ex-Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, had split the first two games of their four-game road trip but appear headed toward the postseason barring a major collapse.

And the most simplistic explanation for the teams' current situations is Vigneault has been more flexible in coaching his new personnel than the fiery Tortorella.

"You definitely have to tailor to the team that you have and the personnel you have," Vigneault said. "I don't have the same personnel now. There are some things that we do similar but it is a different team."

Tortorella still favors the grinding, shot-blocking mentality with heavier workloads for his top forwards he employed to success with the Rangers, taking them to four playoff appearances in five seasons including, in 2012, their first berth in the Eastern Conference final since 1997.

But under Tortorella, superstar twins Henrik (10 goals, 36 assists) and Daniel Sedin (14 goals, 28 assists) have struggled through injuries, spent time apart as linemates and are no longer point-a-game players. Right wing Alexandre Burrows went 35 games without a goal.

"It's unfair for me to comment in any shape or form," Vigneault said of the Canucks' struggles. "I'm 3,000 miles away. I have no idea what's going on here.

"If you're talking about the core guys that have been together for a long time, they're good players and they're good players that are real professional and compete real hard and I don't think that has changed," Vigneault added.

The Rangers, after a travel-heavy, disjointed training camp and then a 3-6-0 road trip to open the season due to renovations to Madison Square Garden, have adapted well to Vigneault. …

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