Friday, March 13, 2009

Tortorella Makes Sweet Music

It was a natural. It was Music City and the coach didn't like the tune his Rangers were playing. So he changed a few things. First, he blistered the team between periods one and two. Next, he put together a line of Gomez, Avery and Callahan. Third, he said attack, attack, attack. The result was the Rangers came back from a 2-1 first period deficiet and beat Nashville 4-2 to climb back into the playoff picture.

There was other good news. Henrik Lundqvist became the first goalie in the NHL to win 30 games in his first four seasons. The Rangers scored their 8th shorthanded goal of the season. Sean Avery got his first goal as a Ranger this year. Scott Gomez had three points, a goal and two assists. Marc Staal had the first two point game of his young career, a goal and an assist. Finally, John Tortorella has put his stamp on this team. Gone is the defense first mentality and welcome to the attack mantra.

There were other big changes. Nikolai Zherdev was benched for the second and third periods. Markus Naslund got less than 10 minutes of ice time, only Colton Orr got less time as a forward. Wade Redden got the second fewest minutes of any defensemen. So things are changing folks. Of course, the power play didn't work. It was 0-4, but the penalty kill was 1-6. On to the weekend showdown with the Dark Ranger's favorite team to hate: the Philadelphia Flyers.

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  • Christopher said...

    hopefully Nik Z learns a lesson here and comes back wanting to prove something. As ineffective as Naslund can be, he is still one of the few 20 goal scorers on this team...10 minutes may be too few, but I think 14-15 would be good for him, when he was playing 20 i think he lost effectiveness

  • Section 335 said...

    Finally, someone who plays the players who dressed to play and sits the players who just go through the motions.

    Finally, Mike Keenan is back.

  • jb said...

    I loved watching the Avery-Gomez-Callahan line. Please sir I want some more.

  • STRYKER said...

    Torts should get credit for this win. A coach that can COACH!!!
    Fire up the bench, sit the player that isn't performing up to his potential.
    Would love to be a fly on the wall in the locker room.

  • Anonymous said...

    I've been away for a while but want to say a very big welcome back Pundit. I've been reading your blog for a few years and was saddened at the news of your health.

    It's fantastic to have you back and I hope you keep up the excellent work.



  • blow-me-down said...

    Avery - talk about a plus. He is dangerous, and I'm not talking about agitating and mouthing off. What a good game he played. It should be an inspiration to others.
    Just like kids, players need direction, rules and consequences.
    This is great.

    I don't like seeing Zherdev sitting, so hopefully he will take whatever action he needs to do to get back out there. I'm sure he will.

    Christopher, good points about Naslund. Maybe you're right. We do need more from him.

    Congrats to Henrik! Hope those stomach troubles go away.

  • The Dark Ranger said...

    I'll be at The Wachovia Center front and center tomorrow afternoon. Look for the lone LUNDQVIST jersey having beer cans thrown at him! The Philly Way.

    Class act those F***ers.

    (oops, I must have misspelled "Flyers"...sorry)


    P.S. haven't used Coach Clueless in quite some time...feels good, doesn't it?

  • mike said...

    Christopher-I think that Tortorella believes that both of them are not playing up to the levels they should.

  • mike said...

    Section 335-Mike Keenan with class.

  • mike said...

    jb-OK 'Oliver', we hope to give you more.

  • mike said...

    STRYKER-Probably a lot of broken hockey sticks, and maybe some heads too.

  • mike said...

    Thanks Luke. I appreciate your warm thoughts. God bless you.

  • mike said...

    blow-me-down-Both the Z Man and Naslund have to pick up their games and Tortorella knows that and so do the guys. We need both hot down to the wire.

  • mike said...

    The Dark Ranger-Number two son will also be there. Boy, are you guys brave.

    Coach who? About the dead, say no evil.

    Good luck tomorrow.

  • blow-me-down said...

    I've often wondered if the stories I hear about going to a Flyer's home game as a fan of the opposition (and advertising it) were true.

    Dark Ranger, I guess you answered my question.
    You and your son are warriors. I definitely will be looking for you when the camera scans the crowd.

    Enjoy the game!