Once again this season, New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault is opting to not have his team take morning skates on some game days.
He did so last season, and he may do it even more this season.
It’s certainly a departure from tradition, and most teams still very much believe in morning skates.
But Vigneault says if his team has a full on-ice practice the day before a game, there’s no merit in having a morning skate on game day. Instead, if the Rangers are on the road, he will convene the players for a meeting at the hotel, or if they’re at home, they’ll get together at Madison Square Garden for video sessions or a meeting.
Either way, Vigneault sees a benefit in not over-taxing his players with the big picture in mind: a long, grinding season for a veteran team with Cup aspirations.
I think this bears watching; the Rangers could be on to something.
Of course, sometimes the most difficult people to convince are your own players, especially your veterans. They’re creatures of habit.