Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Blueshirts Make Duck Soup

New York Rangers 3,  Anaheim Ducks 0. 

Somewhere in Alberta, Canada, an associate coach of the Edmonton Oilers is watching the New York Rangers win four of their first five games, either comparing how this time last year he opened with a similar record or perhaps reevaluating how to approach his current locker room and the integrity of the jerseys they wear.   

Tonight and back to the Eastern Time zone, current NY Rangers Coach John Tortorella shutdown the Anaheim Ducks, 3-0 for his fourth win in a row, obviously with the help of the team behind the wins.  He took the guts of Anaheim, matched them, threw them in a pot and made a delicious embarrassment to Disney lovers across the globe.   Official recap here.

Two power play goals, one short handed, dozens of shots (more than three banging off the posts) and a shutdown defense of young'ens that never sat back and waited for the puck --- tonight was the single best example of "the best offense is a good defenseman offense."  The Rangers are buying into his philosophy and it is becoming more apparent every game.  You can see that he doesn't leave the decisions to the players -- he creates the motivation behind their decisions.   He scares them.  He inspires them.  He demands their respect as 'coach.'  If not, you're benched -- even if you make $6 mill a year.

Torts is the anti-Renney.

The Blueshirts took home another victory for the home crowd tonight controlling all puck movement and demonstrating a system far advanced this early into the season then we've seen in years. Ales Kotalik's power-play goal snapped a third-period tie, backup Steve Valiquette made 18 saves in the New York Rangers' fourth straight victory, forward Artem Anisimov scored his first NHL goal with 5:38 left during another power play to make it 2-0, with an assist from Avery.   The third goal arrived by the stick of Dan Girardi, short-handed, empty-netter.   Yeah.

Our new defense corp is stuff of pre-legend, but ultimately a product of the coaching system.  Rising D-men Matt Gilroy and Michael Del Zotto (and never to forget Marc Staal and Dan Girardi) are the product of a coach that allows them to compete for ice-time --- if you prove you are better than the well-paid veterans, then you get the time and the opportunity.  Coach is allowing us to witness the emergence of new talent.

It is simply awesome.

Yeah, there were mistakes, but not important enough to put Anaheim on the boards.  So let's lick our win and look forward to keeping Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs in the doghouse tomorrow night.  See you at MSG, 7pm EST.



  1. One thing I have noticed -- this team seems to really like to play together. Perhaps it's an effect of Tortorella letting them play full out.

    Also, I have to give more props to Prospal. The guy is a true professional and has solidified the lineup. He went behind the boards with no helmet and played fearlessly. He tracked down Aminisov's first goal to save the puck for him.

    I loved Boyle's play where he was in the offensive zone, without his stick, and he passed the puck with his hand to himself and then hit it with his skate to negate a possible hand pass. Little things like that enable the team to keep control of the puck and the play.

    Finally, note that the Ducks were playing their 3rd game in 69 hours -- Boston, Philly, NY -- so they were rightfully tired but still played well. We'll see how the Rangers are doing at the end of this 3 games in 4 nights stretch they just started. Just trying to give some perspective. Still, this year's 4-1 looks more solid than last year's similar start.

  2. Yes - the anti-Renney! There are VERY few coaches in pro sports who are able to command the respect of spoiled millionaires by being a nice guy. And Renney wasn't one of them.

    I know you shouldn't get too excited by the first 5 games, but I love the way this team plays! I agree with Tony - they really seem to be a cohesive unit and everyone has bought into the system.

    Glad I found your blog!...


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