The Importance Of Perception: Featuring Alain Vigneault And John Tortorella

Mike Stobe

Now that the two coaches seem destined to do a coaching swap some perceptions are coming to light.

Since the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks seem poised to do a coach swap (with the Rangers already holding up their end of the bargain) it's really bringing to light some of the differences between the two coaches.

By all means John Tortorella is a good coach. Even if you don't think he was the right guy for the job in New York (and I would agree with you there) you have to admit that he did a hell of a job taking the Rangers to the next level. If you think his performance the past two seasons were a fluke, well, let's just say it's not easy to play in 32 playoff games over the course of two years.

But as soon as word spread the Rangers had hired Alain Vigneault, and now with rumors surfacing that Tortorella is the hands-down, all-but-official next coach of the Canucks, you're beginning to see a difference in opinion among the two fanbases.

For all intents and purposes Rangers fans see Vigneault as the right man to take them to the next level. His style of play (much more offensive), the fact that he embraces advanced stats, his ability to dominate matchups, his advanced work behind the scenes (highlighted by investigating technology to ease the ware and tear of travel) and his ideology of allowing the players to take more responsibility for themselves are all welcomed changes the Rangers seem like they need.

For Vancouver? Not so much. Many fans are concerned about whether or not Tortorella is the right man for the job. Will his abrasive attitude towards players be effective in Vancouver? Will a team succeed when being more boxed in defensively? Will the buttons Tortorella pushed in New York work in Canada? Does moving to the less physical Western Conference change his approach at all? How will he deal with the media (this was a major concern for the Canucks' brass)?

You don't need me to tell you there are far more questions on the other side of the fence. Yes, Tortorella is a good coach. And yes, he might work out in Vancouver. But right now the Rangers seem like they've made the right adjustments to help propel this team to where they are trying to go. Everyone seems to be on board with the changes. Not so much in Vancouver.

Granted, both coaches need to get results on the ice but you can see the differences in the perceptions.

Now it's time to Vigneault to prove those perceptions are correct.

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