New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault might not have much time left to repair the sinking ship. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks writes that he believes that Vigneault has one more game left to prove he can turn the Rangers disastrous start of 3-7-2 around. He will get that game Tuesday against the 8-1 Vegas Golden Knights.
While Brooks admits that it is his belief and he’s heard nothing to suggest that will happen, he points out that the team’s struggles to start the season, especially falling behind 3-0 in the first period to the equally struggling Montreal Canadiens shows that Vigneault may not be the answer. A coaching change may be the only way to breathe some life into the franchise who were heavily criticized for their efforts in thejr 5-4 loss.
Brooks also points out that the team’s poor start in first periods has been a key issue for New York. The team has been outscored 3-0 in the first two minutes of 12 games this season; 5-1 in the first three minutes of games; 6-2 in the first four minutes; 8-3 in the first six minutes; 10-4 in the first 10 minutes and 12-4 in the first 12 minutes of games. He writes this is inexcusable and is bad enough to physically allow so many early goals, but the team is also unengaged mentally the moment the puck is dropped.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets may have to do without winger Cam Atkinson for a little while as he suffered a lower-body injury, according to The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline (subscription required). The team’s leading scorer for the past two years had a rough game, suffering a lower-body injury in the first period, a puck to his helmet during the second period and then sustained another hit to his lower body that knocked him out of the game in the third period. Portzline said an announcement won’t be made until Monday as the team didn’t practice today. Atkinson has four goals and an assist in 11 games this year. Rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois moved up to replace Atkinson for the remainder of the game.
- Andrew Gross of Northjersey.com writes that winger Marcus Johansson is day-to-day after tweaking his lower body in pre-game warm-ups before Saturday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes. The scribe wrote that it was not a pre-existing injury, but the team choose to hold him out as a precaution. Johansson, who the Devils picked up in an offseason trade with the Washington Capitals, has been a solid contributor for New Jersey this year, having put up three goals and two assists in nine games this year.
- NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti wonders whether the Washington Capitals might not consider claiming defenseman Griffin Reinhart, who was put on waivers this morning by the Vegas Golden Knights. At $800K and at just 23 years of age, Reinhart might be a good investment for a team that has little cap room and little blue line depth. Reinhart, the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft, could be claimed by several teams in need of depth on defense. Unfortunately, the Capitals cannot take solace that they will get a high waiver claim even though the team presently sits at 5-5. CapFriendly reported today that current waiver priority is still based on last year’s record. Priority will switch to present standings starting on Nov. 1.