Alain Vigneault is so predictable

Before I leave for tonight’s game against the Panthers, I wanted to get a couple of things off my chest.

1.Alain Vigneault demoting leading scorer J.T. Miller to the fourth line is ridiculous. Miller had a bad game the other night. It happens. Funny. I don’t see Jesper Fast suffering the same punishment when he had an equally hideous turnover that also led to a Columbus goal. This is the coach you’re dealing with. One who plays favorites and picks on certain guys. Just ask Chris Kreider.

2.Predictably, Josh Jooris is back in the lineup while Oscar Lindberg sits. After playing 7:25 the other night, the writing was on the wall. When Lindberg takes a penalty, he is severely punished. Even when he doesn’t, AV gives him no chance at succeeding only using him minimally at even strength. Just asinine. How did Lindberg go from his hot start last year to barely playing? Granted. He probably isn’t that offensive minded. But come on. The coach is to blame for his mishandling.

3.Adam Clendening sits again. He has become the new Dylan McIlrath. Speaking of which, he might actually play for Florida tonight in his return. He’s played the last two for them and gotten real ice-time. The kind Vigneault was unwilling to provide after a good cameo his rookie year with once again teammate Keith Yandle.

Vigneault is so frustrating. He is so stubborn, it is sickening. Sure. The team is having success. There’s not much to dislike. A 13-5-0 record and first place so far. But the way he handles certain guys is mind boggling.

So too is the team doctors who butchered Pavel Buchnevich, who now will undergo an MRI for his back. God forbid they get something right.

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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