TDR is a working professional in entertainment and is obsessed with the game of hockey. More four years ago, this site emerged as a means (or an outlet) to tell some truth'isms about the game post-lockout, rather than the crud fed to us through knuckleheads like Jimmy Dolan and his lemmings universe. Today, there are a hundred Rangers sites and is thankful and grateful to all those that have come after him, but honorable thanks go to his fellow Dark-writers, Graying Mantis and J_Undisputed. And "Let's Go Rangers!"
Bio of Graying Mantis
Graying Mantis is in fact a graying legal practitioner by day (and sometimes, alas, by night). In the cobwebs of his memory, he recalls starting to follow the Blueshirts in 1970 and remembers watching pivotal playoff games against the Blackhawks on a snow-covered Hartford t.v. channel in their 1972 march to the Finals. Giacomin, Gilbert, Ratelle, and Hadfield seen skating on a small B&W TV screens always will be among his first Ranger memories. He is grateful beyond words for the opportunity to work with his colleagues here in their never ending battle to inform and entertain. Most of all, he appreciates the chance to engage with fellow hockey fans.
Bio of J_Undisputed
"J_Undisputed is an Information Tech Professional; a student, and on and off in his dreams, Mike Richter. He caught his first glimpse of Rangers Hockey when an overtime preempted his favorite pro wrestling broadcast on WWOR-9 one late saturday night when he was 5 and he's been hooked ever since. He's been watching the Rangers for 30 years despite family attempts to make him an Islander Fan (Rest easy...they're out of the will). What started as a minor annoyance has become a life long passion (and at times, a frustration...But he wouldn't trade it for anything). Lets Go Rangers!"
Bio of General Ganz
General Ganz is a cynical yet well-informed student of the human spirit. He's a professional of sorts, with a post-graduate education, some experience working in real companies, and some limited athletic ability. The total small package. He got picked on a fair bit as a kid, and he experienced his first human-non-relation kiss in his teens. He also grew up on the other side of the tracks, thereby helping to cultivate a healthy contempt for dreamers and optimists whose rosy upbringing gave them something to smile about, even when "life produced lemons." Like it or not, his only mission is to point out the potholes you're lucky enough to miss on your drive to work. To find the blemish on your daughter's carefully-stitched (and not-yet-paid-for) wedding dress. To take that little smidgen of hope that your favorite hockey teams fill you with, and pour orange paint on it. Oh, and he is a Blueshirts fan, and takes most of his fashion direction from Ron Duguay (whose name he dropped as a way to close the deal on that first kiss).
A coach genius is made by knowing exactly when or when not to bench your players on the team, rookie or star players alike.
New York Ranger Coach John Tortorella, after yesterday's victory against the Flyers, by the press standards appears to be like one of those geniuses, having benched agitator Sean Avery the game before against The Thrashers (which led to a 5-2 win for the Blueshirts) and inserted back into the lineup against Philadelphia at The Garden a day later. Would you believe it? It was perhaps Sean Avery's best gritty performance this season. Two goals, two penalty minutes, drew three penalties (leading to two power plays), played like a hard-hitting leader (with restraint) and a reinvigorated team that followed his footsteps. The Coach must have known that would piss off Sean and motivate him to play better the next game. Embarrass him. Make the fans know it. He'll want to prove to all that the Coach wronged him.
But Sean Avery has been one of the more hard working hockey players on The Rangers? What gives? How many times can a coach effectively bench the same guy to get his best play?
Well, for genius reasons, I suppose, the Rangers beat up The Flyers winning 3-1. Unrelated to Torts or Avery, check out our very own Brandon Dubinsky getting challenged by Flyer's Captain Mike Richards. Clearly the Philadelphia tough guy is reeling tonight after getting beat up and over-ranked by a 20-something year old. Watch this fantastical video here.
But look again at Torts -- screaming genius for a game and his reasons for shaming team members to the icy wooden plank. Many players on the current roster fit the bill: Wade Redden - was brought in to secure the blueline for the next five years (ok...a big mistake): When he sucks, BENCH HIM. Michael Del Zotto - first round draft blueliner who has stepped up, but crucial mistakes are made that will ultimately lead to building character and bringing accountability to a 19-year old rookie (no problem): BENCH HIM. Even Torts (secretly hating) Sean Avery and benching him for stupid mistakes and creating havoc on the ice and in the locker room: BENCH HIM. All easy targets benched by Coach.
So with that, let me state that John Tortorella is far from a genius.
While Torts looks for accountability and consistency from his players on a game-to-game basis, so should the method of his coaching and how he treats the team as a unit. He is as much the hot-head off the ice as Sean Avery - and, especially, to the press -- this coaching hypocritical manner bleeds into the locker room and the team he represents. If his methods were consistent, we'd see Olli Jokinen, A. Anisimov, Chris Drury being benched throughout the season based on poor play. Can you imagine Marian Gaborik getting the bench? Management would make Torts roll if any of the star players were to be penalized and benched for not scoring goals or working hard. Many of these players that we covet are not star players, let's call them our cliched' ' overpaid syndrome' extended contracts and Coach is afraid of them because of how it will effect him. He continues to pick on the secondary characters on the bench, rather than the marquee characters....because he can. The philosophy of benching should apply to all players if this is something he believes in.
The Dark Ranger says let 'em play and earn their contracts. If not, bench 'em and send 'em north.
It's a professional popularity contest of the bench, as if Torts has chosen his favorites and you have to earn your way back into his influence bubble. That is....unless the Rangers pay you more than 5 million a year.
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