Monday, March 15, 2010

Tortorella Should Be Careful

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.

Official recap 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.



  1. I can see your point DARK. Torts doesn't follow his own drum and you make a good point about benching marquee players. But. We won!


    How do you think that series will go?

  2. Always happy to beat the Flyers!!! I am afraid it is 'just another game' with 13 left to go in the season, anything can happen.

    If we get there, Caps in 5.


  3. We certainly agree about accountability with the coach and his overall hypocrisy, but ultimately it will be the season's results that tell the tale about Tort's future.

    Off-topic a bit -- I am starting to really hate every team in playoff position in the East -- the Caps with the dirtiest player in the league, the Pens because they are Bettman's love toy, etc., the Flyers (as if we need a reason), the Canadiens b/c they have the most obnoxious fans outside the Oakland Alameda County Stadium, the Devils . . . I guess what I am saying is that if the Rangers don't make it, I only can root for Buffalo or Ottawa or more likely, a team in the West to take home the Stanley Cup. While I am getting ahead of myself, I just had to get that off my chest.

  4. I'll go with Buffalo -- not a fan of any of them as well.

    We all have a pretty good idea of the probable results -- just look at our poll....


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  6. Hi, my name is Juan Valencia. I Saw on my Twitter, Rangers Brasil, is a Blog of the Rangers in portuguese.

    And i wanna know if you interest, in make a "partnership", you publish my Blog, just putting it on your "partner list", and i will do the same in my Blog.

    And if you worry about how english people will read my Blog, is easy... have a Google Translator in the side bar, that translat the entire Blog.

    About what you and me wins with that partnership, i think that in my Blog is good, because more international people will visit the Blog, and know that in Brasil have hockey to, and have very fanatic people. and for you, more brasilian people will visit a great English Blog about the Rangers.

    So what you think?

  7. Tony V--Are you kidding that you are calling Ovie the dirtiest player in the league? The shove on Campbell was unfortunate, but Mess used to do that twice a game! Dirtiest player, Matt 'The Turtle" Cooke. 4 Concussions, no consequences.

    If you want to hate Washington, do so for the purpose of ensuring that Poti doesn't win a cup.

    Eric B

  8. Sidney Crosby is dirtier than anyone in the league from all of those dives.

    I, personally, like the grit of the hits -- Ovie is someone I like to watch on a regular basis, dirty or clean -- he's a marvel to watch. I am getting a little cranky, though, to the Caps because of our first round breakdown last year and, if we were to make the playoffs sitting in the 8th spot, a scary rematch between both teams would be inevitable and friggin hard to watch.

  9. Word from up top was the Rangers were very interested in Brad Richards from Dallas early in the season. Figures bonehead Sather wouldn't make the move. Richards numbers as of last night? 19 goals and 57 assists. And this on a mediocre team with a coach worse than Torts (whoin Tampa Richards won the cup with as MVP in 04'). Can you imagine Richards feeding Gaborik? And don't get me started on Redden and Drury. 2 overpaid busts plain and simple.


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