Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tortorella's Waterloo

Make no mistake about this travesty that is unfolding before our very eyes. The Rangers are floundering and with the exception of a couple of players they are doing nothing but acquiescing to a Washington Capital team that was there for the taking. John Tortorella is the biggest culprit and the architect of this monstrous collapse. He started it when he caved to the drive by media's demand that he do something about Avery's antics. So he pulled him from the lineup for Thursday's game and you saw the results. Avery was doing his job and then some and Tortorella yanked him and the Caps came alive.

Then Tortorella got into it with some fans, lost his cool and lo and behold he sat out todays game. In two days the Rangers lost their spine and their coach and the Caps responded. So now the series is even and the seventh and deciding game will be played in Washington, D.C. Unless Lundqvist replaces his Ranger sweater with one with a big S on it, the Rangers are cooked. Their offense is pathetic and with Blair Betts possibly out the penalty kill becomes suspect.

Speaking of Betts, are the on ice officials blind? Did they not see Brashear's elbow to Bett's head. Avery would have gotten a five minute and possibly a gamer for that. Also, did they not see Brashear's antics prior to the game when he shoved Orr at the red line? I thought that was supposed to be a game misconduct penalty. Oh, wait a minute, that is not the Avery rule, is it? What have we accomplished the last two games? We have made a rookie goalie look like the second coming of Ken Dryden and worst of all we have turned Tom Poti into Larry Robinson.

As ye sow so shall ye reap. John Tortorella has sown an awful mess and it has to be up to him to rally the troops. But what troops? Zehrdev, who has absolutely no confidence. Antropov, who has no legs. Naslund, who has no game. Is it really necessary to go on with this? The prize was there for the taking and an egotistical coach put himself above his team, above his players and above the Ranger fans to prove his point, whatever that point was. He has one game to save his reputation and this season. He may have one game left to save his job.



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14 comments:

  • Anonymous said...
     

    We were talking about the Brashear stuff during warm-ups on another board, and apparently the officials are no longer on the ice during warm-ups so it is something the league will need to address after the fact.

  • Dov said...
     

    Tortorella took a team that was beaten by Dallas 10-2 and was heading just south of Atlanta in the standings and rallied them for a playoff run. We all know that Henrik runs hot and cold and he may not have either the stamina nor the mental toughness for a long playoff run. The first year the excuse was the Olympics but since then we've seen none of the steel of champions, Giguere, Brodeur, Roy, Dryden, Smith, even Osgood, even Arturs Irbe. That's nine goals in four periods which is John Grahame territory.

    Do they have a puncher's chance? Yes if Henrik rouses himself to a decent effort, keeps them in the game. Can they scrounge up nine forwards willing to give it the old college try? Not counting Zherdev, Voros, and Orr, they don't unless Drury is healthy. That's the hand Tortorella has been dealt. And where is the bench? I know they dumped Prucha, Dawes, and Fritsche, but they could have made more moves with the playoffs in mind. Mark Bell seems to be an apparition.

    Tortorella is not responsible for this mess of a team. You can only make so much brick without straw. If Henrik implodes again I'm almost ready to move him in a blockbuster deal with say San Jose, for Nabokov and bring in some hard-nosed players like Clowe, Murray, and Cheechoo, not Thornton.

  • blow-me-down said...
     

    I read somewhere (sorry, I don't have a link, so treat it however you like) that Schoenfeld stated, to paraphrase, that there were guys who wanted to give more effort, but couldn't, that they were 'gassed'.
    I'd like to take that sorry, over-used excuse and stick it....well, you know where.

    All I know is that once again only a few players seemed to even hint that they knew they were playing the sixth game in a playoff series.

  • Scotty Hockey said...
     

    I think by gassed he means they were gutless pukes who didn't stand up for each other. Is it any wonder that the paychecks stop in the playoffs and the guys who normally make the most money haven't bothered showing up? Not that they did during the regular season, but this is worse - much, much worse.

  • jb said...
     

    This implosion by the team and the complete disappearance of the 'big money' players has thoroughly soured Rangerland. This off-season can't come soon enough if our heroes can't at least show that they have a few real heroes.

    After Callahan and Dubinsky, who will man-up and show that they'll go down with a fight rather than a wimper?

    I do blame Tortella for the reversal in this series. The Caps were on the ropes. Avery if he had played in game 5 would have been a fly in the Caps coffee cup. They may have spent most of their final game taking runs at him rather than shots at Lundqvist. Torts took the easy path thinking he was showing who had the bigger d***.

    Taking on a fan rather with a water bottle rather than take his team to the locker room and call for better security was a man again thinking with something other than his brain. Torts has lost his mind, that is the bottomline.

    A puncher's chance? I wish. Who other than Orr can throw a decent punch on this team?

  • Anonymous said...
     

    Only a NYR could get a 10 minute misconduct penalty for complaining about being bitten... fourth paragraph http://lohud.com/article/20090427/COLUMNIST01/904270347/-1/SPORTS

  • jb said...
     

    The refs, the fans, the ice, the wimps, the great Ovechkin.

    Can anyone think of a team that has been a bigger underdog in playoff game 7 than the Rangers?

  • blow-me-down said...
     

    Have the Rangers not practiced a drill for what to do when bitten by an opponent? You know, similar like what to do if attacked by a grizzly or what to do if the fire alarm goes off.
    How negligent of them :-)

    I am interested in the official's handling of the alleged biting situation, i.e. their refusal to hear Brandon and then the ten.
    Is it a case where the complaint has to come through the coach or team captain? Just wondering, because Brandon speaks pretty good English and they didn't listen at all.

  • jb said...
     

    b-m-d,

    So the Rangers are snake bit when it comes to officiating?

  • blow-me-down said...
     

    jb - from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/snakebit
    'having or experiencing failure or bad luck : unlucky'

    Surprisingly, it references neither the NHL,the Washington Capitals, Shaone Morrisonn, or Bill McCreary.

    Go figger!

  • Graying Mantis said...
     

    I agree with your post and nearly all of the comments. While Tortorella did an admirable job in saving the Rangers' season, some questions are worthy of asking:

    (i) what did you do to Colton Orr. The guy has totally regressed. He and his linemates gave the other 3 lines some much needed rest.

    (ii) that leads to the Schoenfeld comment -- the team is gassed? I need no further proof that the team needs to get younger.

    (iii) Torts is the problem during this playoff series -- he has worn out the forwards, he wore down the defense by insisting on playing 2 pairings most of the time, he effectively neutered Avery, and he became the sideshow. Has this guy already worn out his welcome after 2 months?

    By the way, anyone miss some veteran leadership on the ice and in the locker room? #14 would have been helpful to keep around instead of Aaron Voros.

    I'm happy they made it this far -- teams out there would trade places in a second. I'm just hoping that they will have some games to play in May.

  • jb said...
     

    GM,

    I have used the axiom, selling your winners and keeping your sinners when talking about how Sather has managed this roster. A losing strategy in the market and in hockey.

    But, it's that mentality that keeps Sather from confronting his mistakes. So we are saddled with Voros, while Prucha was thriving in the desert. The thought of seeing Redden, Gomez, Drury, and Rosy as Blueshirts until the next administration will be like like having chronic swine flu.

    With the weather turning so hot it's hard to get excited about watching this team play more hockey when there is that vacuum of solid veterans to really cheer for.

  • blow-me-down said...
     

    Orr has always been okay in my books. I never thought his game hurt the team, as a Hollweg did. To me he has been a solid 4th liner and then a bit - his big right hand, which like it or not is needed on every team, playoffs or not.

    In my opinion, Orr was over-utilized by Renney, now the pendulum has swung too far the other way.

    As for leadership, there is obviously a bit of a vacuum. Guys like Callahan and Dubi show every indication of growing into it, but yes, a Shanahan type would be very welcome.

  • Ryan McFadden - The Manic Ranger said...
     

    Everyone always complains about money money money. The guys with the big paychecks blah blah blah. I'm tired of hearing that. But in the end, the Rangers veterans didn't step up to the plate. Scott Gomez hasn't been much of a factor, Markus Naslund has taken entirely too many penalties. Nikolai Zherdev has proved to be a bust. Nik Antropov hasn't been seen since game 1.

    Nobody expects anything from Wade Redden and he's happy to do nothing. Chris Drury is playing with one hand, I can respect him playing.

    The sad thing is though is that the Rangers young guys like Cally, Dubi, Staal, Korpikoski and Girardi have shown more desire than the guys who 'have been there before'. Certain people aren't cut out to play in NY.

    I find it difficult to blame Tortorella for benching Avery. Mostly because as fans, we don't know what happens behind closed doors. I also can't blame him for the loss because lets face it, the Rangers sucked that game and Avery would not have made a difference.

    But the incident in Washington created a distraction and I know that Torts is furious with himself for what he did. But I'm not ready to give him the MSG Crowd Ax just yet.

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