If Alain Vigneault didn’t make his point before, he certainly has now. After having Kevin Hayes sit out a Rangers 5-2 win over the Lightning to end 2015, he’s decided to make Hayes a healthy scratch again for the Panthers tonight.
It’s unsurprising that Vigneault decided to stick with the same lineup that played the Rangers’ most complete game in a while. Usually, it’s been how he operates. If the team wins, he’ll go back to it and see if it can again. Facing one of the league’s most improved teams, he sending a message to Hayes and the team. He wants a more consistent effort from everyone. New York Post beat writer Brett Cyrgalis got a interesting response from Vigneault.
Clearly, Vigneault has finally decided to take a stand. It’s about time. This is what I’ve been asking for. Consistency. Accountability. Hayes has played his way out of the lineup. Considering that Viktor Stalberg and Tanner Glass remain in on the fourth line, that should change. In order to be successful, the Blueshirts need more from Hayes. When he does return, it’ll be interesting to see how he responds.