There is considerable chatter circulating within the industry that Tuesday night’s match at the Garden against Vegas could determine the fate of coach Alain Vigneault, whose Rangers slipped to 3-7-2 with Saturday night’s 5-4 defeat in Montreal that featured another distressing, no-show first period.

That is probably overstating it and more a case of deductive reasoning than a reflection of inside knowledge. Still, if Vigneault is being evaluated under this type of microscope, then the conclusion that a change is necessary behind the bench has essentially already been made, whether the deciders do or do not know it and/or do or do not want to admit it.

If an organization is unsure the coach is the right guy, then he is the wrong guy. Going game by game only postpones the inevitable. It leaves too much undone. Leaves too much opportunity for excuse-making and rationalizations. If this is just the matter of when, then sooner the better for everyone’s benefit.

Saturday’s first period, in which the 27th-overall Blueshirts were outscored 3-0 and outshot 19-2 by the 30th-overall Habs, provided unmistakable evidence that something is rotten within team confines that goes well beyond Vigneault’s imperfections behind the bench.

The Rangers have been outscored 3-0 in the first 2:00 of games; 5-1 in the first 3:00; 6-2 in the first 4:00; 8-3 in the first six minutes; 10-4 within the first 10:00; and 13-4 in the first 12:00 of the first 12 games.

That is inexcusable. The Blueshirts have been chronically unengaged both mentally and physically coming out of the room for the drop of the first puck. If the athletes believe they are working hard enough, they are delusional. They are doing the minimum, and poorly, at that.