Many news writers and commentators have been quick to defend Renney in seeking to explain why the Rangers are a better team under Torts. They point to the (re)acquisitions of Avery, Antropov and Morris to explain why the Rangers are a different team. They are wrong. Renney’s failure was his inability to recognize and properly use young talent. Allow me to make the case.
1. Torts quickly understood that Callahan has burning energy and desire as well as talent. He has been rewarded with power play time and first line duty. He has responded with production.
2. Torts quickly understood that his youngest defenders were his best defenders. Now Stahl and Girardi get 37 shifts and 24 minutes of ice – and they perform. They even kill penalties.
3. Renney did not even play Lundqvist over Weeks until his performance and fan unrest forced his hand.
4. Wayne Gretzky realized that Prucha is the real gem, not Dawes. Last night Coach Gretzky had Prucha on the ice for 18:50, more than any other Right Wing – in fact more than any other wing or center iceman. Dawes was a healthy scratch.
5. Wayne Gretzky realized that Kalinin had significant offensive talent, and last night Kalinin had an assist and a power play goal. In seven games he has a goal and two assists. In his two full healthy years at Buffalo he scored over 20 goals each time.
Just imagine if Renney had used Prucha, Kalinin, Stahl and Girardi correctly. Do you really think we would be fighting for our playoff lives right now?
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