Dan Girardi needs to sit

John Dundon

dan girardi skating 12-6

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Accountability is a term that Alain Vigneault has used often in his tenure as Rangers head coach.

And for reasons we may never understand, it’s one of the things he has perhaps lacked most in crucial spots. His blatant favoritism isn’t just costing his team points in the standings anymore, now it could cost them a playoff series. It seems to me like the coach needs to start holding some of his favorites accountable.

Dan Girardi—a warrior, life time Ranger, heart and soul guy, notoriously AWESOME human being—is not getting the job done anymore. It has been bad for some time but in the last little while it has come to a breaking point. The abilities of the player do not match up with what the coach wants him to be.

It should be laminated that Girardi has been thrusted again into first pairing minutes due to the injury to Ryan McDonagh (although the coach routinely played him that much willingly, too). The fact of the matter is that Girardi is costing the team now, at a time when you have to win four out of seven games before the other team does. It cannot continue.

Girardi shared blame for three goals last night, including each of the first two. With less than one minute remaining in the first period, Girardi coasted and looked at the ref for an icing call. By time he looked back in front of him, the puck was behind him on his way to Patrick Hornqvist’s stick. Late in the second period, Girardi threw a soft wrister into a group of Penguins. Sidney Crosby scored on a breakaway as a result. Crosby’s line featuring Chris Kunitz and Patrick Hornqvist had a field day against the Staal-Girardi pairing.

Even those two monumental goals against weren’t enough for Alain Vigneault to mention Girardi as a negative factor post game to the Rangers beat.  Accountability? Hmmm.

Look, no one wants to see players struggle. The burden of the Girardi problem falls on Vigneault to step in and scratch the Rangers warrior for the good of the team. Dylan McIlrath is a perfectly capable replacement who has shown poise and a physical side that the Rangers defense doesn’t possess without him in the lineup.

A defense featuring Yandle-Klein, Skjei-Boyle, Staal-Mcilrath is a definite upgrade over the pairs they’re deploying right now.

If the Rangers bench boss fails to see issue with Girardi’s struggles and doesn’t make a move before they dig themselves into a hole, the Rangers will be a first round exit.

Posted on April 14, 2016, in In the Crease and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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