Boston Bruins: Did Alain Vigneault Give Game To Bruins?


The Boston Bruins defeated the New York Rangers at the TD Garden this afternoon, giving them a five game win streak. The 4-3 victory pushes the Bruins to fifth in the Eastern Conference and third in the Atlantic Division.  The Bruins came out firing on all cylinders for most of the game (the B’s are still having trouble with that second period slump), and pulled out a victory.

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That victory in part has to go to New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault.

The Boston Bruins took a 1-0 lead in the first period thanks to a goal by Patrice Bergeron. Bergy’s shot went five-hole through Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist’s stick was interfered with by Bruins forward Brad Marchand and Lundqvist complained to the refs about goaltender interference during the TV commercial break.

Marchand was outside of the crease. In my opinion, the contact does look accidental. However, this was one of those ‘one man’s good goal is another man’s goaltender interference’ calls. If you look at the tweet thread, there were plenty of people on either side of the fence.

Vigneault had the ability to challenge, but chose not to.  Perhaps the Rangers’ video manager (who may be updating his resume at the moment) saw that Marchand was out of the crease, and the odds of getting the goal overturned were slim. Had the Bruins goal been overturned, the game could have turned out differently for the Black and Gold.

Former Ranger Marin Biron was one of those hoping to see Vigneault use his challenge, but he chose not to.

A lot of Rangers fans Brad Marchand got away with murder there. Perhaps that only emboldened the Bruins forward to be even more aggressive with Lundqvist during the game. As the game was tied 2-2, Marchand crashed the net as Henrik Lundqvist crouched in the crease. Marchand’s knee made contact with Henrik Lundqvist who then proceeded to do his best P.K. Subban impersonation.

As dives go, I have to give Hank an 8.5 for technical merit, a 7.5 for difficulty, but a 9.0 for artistic expression. Marchand did deserve the two minutes he got for that play, and the Rangers were able to capitalize on that to give them a power play goal. That goal broke the Bruins string of seventeen consecutive penalty kills. Still, the Bruins fought their way back into the win column. Late goals by both Ryan Spooner and David Krejci helped them squeak out the 4-3 win.

The Rangers played a good game, but their head coach still seemed haunted by the ghosts of 2011. Vigneault had a chance to change the momentum of the game, but his tentativeness and his unwillingness to back his goaltender is one of the reasons why the Bruins beat them.