Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tortorella Blinks; Rangers Sink

John Tortorella violated one of the basic tenets in sports, and it came back to bite him and the Rangers. "Don't fix it, if it ain't broke". Tortorella figured he had to send Avery and the rest of the Rangers a message for a lack of discipline. Some message. The Rangers blew a chance to eliminate the Caps and then went out and committed nine penalties. Also, Tortorella should practice what he preaches as supposedly he tossed a water bottle at a fan. I say supposedly because I did not see it. The irony would be if he is suspended for game six at the Garden. Then maybe Avery will coach the team.

It should be noted that Tortorella is well noted for dishing out tough discipline but what is not too well advertised is that he has always been selective in who he dishes out the punishment to. So on this Ranger team besides Avery the usual suspects are Zherdev and Naslund, who usually get their ice time cut. When was the last time the lazy over paid Redden or the inept, puck mishandler Rozsival were punished? Never. So John Tortorella is a selective hard nose coach, who would bite off his nose to spite his face. He maybe the first Ranger coach in history to lose a playoff series after being up three games to one.

All day long prior to the game the drive by sports media and the so called analysts were crying for the head of Avery and it seemed that Tortorella caved to their wishes. Would it have made a difference had Avery played? I don't know, but there were certain signs that indicated things might have gone a little differently. The Rangers started out as ragged and sloppy as they have been all year and defenseman Erskine was smiling a lot something that was missing the previous game. Mike Green also seemed to move around a lot less hindered by Avery's absence. The Ranger attack was woeful and therein lies another story that may signal even more trouble for the Rangers.

Rookie goalie Varlamov continues to sparkle and has shutout the Rangers twice while giving up three goals in four games. He has not faced the amount of rubber that the Caps have shot at Lundqvist, but he is doing the job. The Rangers cannot maintain a serious attack. Its usually one and done. So Lundqvist must rise to the occasion one more time and that time has to be tomorrow at the Garden. The Rangers cannot go back to Washington for game seven. John Tortorella made sure of that when he put discipline above winning.

Related Articles by Categories


  • Anonymous said...

    Tortorella put discipline above winning much earlier, when he totally destroyed Zherdev's play. He should have calculated what his actions would cause, considering Z's personality.

    Now Rangers are effectively playing w/o their most skilled forward.

    As for Avery, with all due respect, I understand you love him, but when a person needs to exercize full control over his emotions just to avoid putting stick into people's faces, this person belongs to another institution, not on the hockey field.


  • Anonymous said...

    I figured Torts would rip Avery pretty bad, threaten him, but didn't ever think he would bench him.

    We need him on the ice, even if he takes a few penalties. We have an awesome penalty kill. He's the only player besides Hank who gets in the Capitals heads. Makes them think twice.

    What I saw on the ice last night was pitiful. the only people I felt could force anything were Dubinsky and Callahan and a little bit Korpikoski.

    Tortorella ruined Zherdev? Please. He's a grown man who has been playing in the NHL for six years. He has been playing like crap for months. It is more glaring when they play intensifies in the playoffs. He wont be a Ranger next year.

    I didn't expect to win last night, I just hope for a more inspired effort Sunday by all.

  • jb said...

    I think Torts certainly put his ego ahead of the team by wanting to send Avery a message. Voros just doesn't bring much to the party. As least Avery's winning percentage when playing didn't suffer.

    Arkadiy, if you don't want Avery to play then they should change the name of the NHL to the PHL the Pantywaist Hockey League.

    About Z-man disappearing under the Torts system. His star has certainly dimmed. I wonder if the constant reconfiguration of the lines all year hurt him? He's a puzzle, but I tend to agree that he probably won't be back. He disappears too often.

    If he could contribute anything this next game would be the time.

    All on the line on Sunday.

    Let's go Rangers.

  • jb said...

    Mike, I forgot to say I think you jinxed Lundqvist when you finally caved-in and elevated him from a Prince to the King. I think the cosmic shock waves shook-up his concentration. Will you demote him if the Caps come back?

  • blow-me-down said...

    Should we now call Henrik "The goaltender formerly known as Prince"?

    I was hopping mad at Avery at the end of game 4. Once I calmed down, I realized that he deserved to sit, but I wouldn't have had wished for him being scratched. If he showed no discipline in game 5, could he not have then been benched and then take it from there?

    No matter now. Game 6 is all that counts. What a non-effort game 5 was. I think that was my worst experience watching NYR in a very long time. And I still don't think Drury is healthy. Not that I am calling him a gamesaver when healthy, but if he is even 90% then his level of play has fallen off the proverbial cliff.

    Game 6...I cannot wait.

  • Down by the Seaside said...

    All season we were ...
    -a team that had no one opponents fear
    -a team that couldn't score on the power play
    -a team that relied on its goalie too often
    -a team that made a lot of stupid plays

    So why are we surprised with the way this series has gone?

  • Anonymous said...

    Because we are still leading?

  • mike said...

    jb-I never actually upgraded him to King. I said, would be King.