A very interesting preseason game coming up tonight as the Rangers play the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena at 10pm ET.
So how is our old friend Johnny Drama doing in his new theater of operations? Reports are that the old thesbian still lives by the adage that all the world is his stage.
NHL.com / Sept 26th, 2013:
Canucks still learning Tortorella's style --
That voice has come as advertised, with [John] Tortorella making threats if cell phones ring in press sessions, bluntly calling out the fitness levels of Zack Kassian and Tom Sestito, and saying "he couldn't find" top defenseman Alexander Edler in the tape he watched from last season. As promised, he also has delivered those messages bluntly and directly in a locker room Vigneault had left to the players.A smile crossed my face while reading this, especially the part that said, "forwards collapsing" and "there is more of an emphasis on blocking shots." Will your rope-a-dope strategy find a happy home out west? We shall see Johnny Drama, we shall see...
"We haven't got one of his classic rants the media talks about, but he is definitely a presence in the room," veteran defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. "And you definitely know if you do something stupid you will get called out on it."
But the bigger adjustment to Tortorella has been on the ice. Training camp started as more of a conditioning camp, with players skated so hard that fatigue was cited as a problem after losing the first three preseason games. So, too, was a lack of understanding of system changes initiated under Tortorella, who didn't switch the focus to tactics until Friday.
The differences include forwards collapsing deeper into the defensive zone and the defensemen playing more of a zone down low instead of picking a man. The breakouts and forecheck also have been altered, and there is more of an emphasis on blocking shots. But the biggest challenge for Tortorella is trying to get his new team to be more aggressive and assertive all over the ice...