Hayes Scratched Again


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.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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