Since exploding onto the scene in his Rangers debut with 2g and 1a, Ryane Clowe has had exactly one assist in the six games since.
Now in Clowe's defense, his effectiveness cannot and should not be based entirely on stats. His toughness and physicality are integral parts of his game as well.
Unfortunately, he hasn't done much of that lately either has he's combined for just four hits and no fights in the last two games.
He's supposed to be notorious for sticking up for teammates, but when Claude Giroux nailed Derek Stepan with a dirty elbow to the head on Tuesday night, nothing.
So what the heck happened? Was that first game just him playing on adreneline and we're now seeing the player that the Sharks were so desperate to trade?
Or could it be that John Tortorella has gotten him to buy into his new "fighting and standing up for your teammates is bad" game plan this season.
And you really can't blame Glen Sather for making the trade for Clowe. I mean, who would have figured a guy who had zero goals in 28 games with the Sharks wouldn't be scoring?
Either way, if the Rangers want any chance of making the playoffs, Clowe has to get back to his aggressive style of play and get back to it quickly. As in tonight vs. the Panthers.
Changing coaches is potentially a big risk right now, given Lunquist's age in particular. A new coach would have to strike a rapport and develop good chemistry pretty much right away to take advantage of late-prime Lundquist. If Torts is indeed the problem, then he must go. But I've read every post and every argument on this blog, as well as reading other sources and watching almost every game, and we fans simply don't know what the problem is. When it comes down to it, we're not in the locker room and we don't know much about what is said. We just want a change. We want to see an improvement over last year's team and we've seen the opposite.
nothing happened to him ... he only had 11 assists so far this season, we picked him up to beat up and beat on people, not for his scoring ability
Being a Rangers fan in SF, I can tell you that he was a player manager on the SF Bulls, a ECHL team lower than the AHL. Not sure why you're all surprised by this.
Torts said it best after the game, he didn't coach him that game and just let him play. Now he is being coached and the life got sucked out of him like the rest of the bunch.
There's a huge problem with the Rangers when it comes to the physical side of the game. It's not just the fighting aspect....its also with finishing through checks....
Here's my list of the problems that needs to be addressed......
1) Ryan Callahan...our captain. Sometimes it takes more than just being a leader by example. Cally is one of the few Rangers who throws the body consistently. I have no problem with him as a player. I don't have a problem with him as our Captain either. But he is a relatively young captain...fifth youngest in franchise history. Sometimes as a Captain you need to get in people's faces....if guys aren't doing what they're suppose to be doing....the Captain needs to be vocal in that locker room.....and not be afraid to yell at or get in the face of a teammates..and not just young guys...veterans as well if they're slacking off.
Solution: Nothing really. As he gets older...he'll get wiser...and he'll become a better Captain each and every year.
2)Rick Nash....He's our most talented player. Which, like it or not, make him a de facto leader on this team. Nash came out physical at the start....not just checking...but finishing through his checks. Big hits. But every thing changed after the Lucic hit. 25 games since that game...he has only 17 hits. That is unacceptable. You know that old saying..."hitting is contagious"....well the opposite is true as well.
Solution: Nash needs to get his physical game going. He starts taking the body...the rest of the team will feed off of it. It will have a positive effect. Never mind the fact...that if we make the playoffs...and he doesnt use that big frame of his...some team is going to make him their own personal pinata
3)And last but not least....and who I believe is our biggest problem.....
I've been a critic of his all year...concerning his use of the 4th line...lack of toughness of roster at times...etc.
But there is something else going on. The Rangers were playing very physical early on...big hits..fights.....and, like a switch being turned off....it all went away. Asham is playing like a shell of his former self....Mashinster played timid when he was called up....Haley, who played great in his time up with the big club, didnt seem like himself....he was playing with restraint. Now Clowe the last two games doesnt seem like himself..........
Either Tortorella has told his team to limit their physical play....or he has lost control and can no longer motivate his players. It's either one or the other.
Solution: Hate to say it....but maybe its time for a change.
The Tortorella virus has entered Clowe's bloodstream, just like it has infected much of this team. Give them the cure....FIRE HIM!!!!!
@TheNYRBlog really? So a instigator penalty would help the comeback?
It's just that so many guys are not making any impact in the game. For example in the flyers game tell me what impact DZ, stralman, eminger, asham, pyatt, powe, Callahan, Hagelin, Richards, clowe or Nash had on the game. You can't unless negative. Last year everyone had a role and they played it. This year it's just blah
HAS to have something to do with Torts. No way in hell Cally would let Steps get elbowed like that and do nothing. Maybe, just maybe (don't take my word for this) Torts is concerned about injuries in the short season? As if that's a fucking excuse, but I mean, there's just no other answer. Ryane Clowe is a mean, venemous player that should already lead us in fighting majors, it has to be Torts.
@TheNYRBlog Good question
i think Torts definitely has some to do with the lack of production. It's not just Clowe and team toughness. How about the countless number of people that were suppose to fix the pp.
@TheNYRBlog became the Clowe guy the Sharks traded.
@TheNYRBlog Clowes gonna get a point or 2 tnite - hell have an easier time getting his body in front of the net against the leagues worst PK
If you noticed Clowe does his offensive work in front of the net...which he hasnt dont recently cause torts have him grinding on the boards, get him in front.
Torts ruined Gabby, Richards, and Countless others , and currently is ruining Clowe, Kreider, and Miller. His system is a cancer to this team. I called it after the first game post-Columbus trade. The team we saw that game is not the team we see today because Torts has had time to poison the minds of Brassard, Moore, and Clowe.
@AG_Blue You may know I've been down on this coach, even last year when they were winning. I'd love to see a new guy behind the bench but obviously now we have to make the most of the situation and win in spite of his issues like we did last year while taking advantage of his strengths. With the uninspired play from this team this year I have to believe it's more than just the coach but whether it's fair or not his job is to get his team motivated to win
@McPhee37 # 1 are you in the locker room? #2 the east as always is a much physical division. i bet nash gets hit twice as much each game as he ever has. #3 mashinter, haley. the big game is a lot more quicker.totally overmatched. torts?. i'm still on the fence. a guy like step can turn into an offensive beast what the fuck is wrong with guys who can't seem to get it? hard forecheck creates turnovers, right?. people always bitch that the rangers don't stay in the offensive zone long enough, but if they keep spitting it up or there's no forecheck ,then you're gonna be on the defensive side most of the time. gabby, you seem to come to mind.
@McPhee37 You may have caught some of my comments on Torts thsi year. Never liked him. Was bummed when we brought him in and even last season I wasn't convinced, even though the team overachieved. Last season demonstrated that he's at his best with an under-talented "blue collar" type team with big heart and opinions aside he did a great job with that team last year. Anyway his persona behind the bench, results etc. suggest that in spite of knowing this game inside out he lacks knowledge of the unseen dimension in professional sports (especially a fast game like hockey) which is the human being. Sometimes we forget hockey players are human beings who have personal crises, who don't always get on with the other players, who we ask to literally put their lives on the line every night so that we may be entertained, and they are sore, banged up but yet we expect them to be on and give it their all every night. Human beings by nature have fragile psyches (and frankly the more macho the more fragile from my obs). Until Torts gets the human factor he will always fall short, but if the team comes together led by their captain (like in '94 under another arguably difficult coach) they can still win in spite of Torts, and of course there is always that hope that he'll put his big ego aside, learn from the mistakes and modify his system to fit his team's needs and personel. I also think (since you mentioned Cally) that he is a young captain who is learning the ropes. Leading by example is only a part of it. Mess would be in everyone's face who isn't giving 110% by now and it seems that Cally needs to get more vocal with his players, call closed doors meetings and encourage players commroderie, of course he may already be doing all that but we may not know about it. Love to see Nashty take the body more too - I love how he stares down and intimidates the goalies as he rushes toward the net. I thought he was getting more physical as of late but the last 2 games I didn't see it. Anyway just my 2 cents on your statements
@McPhee37 I can't believe this is about Torts. He's always made his players finish checks or sit, unless they were highly skilled, like Gaborik.
Let's look at the evidence. Gilroy - banished forever for being soft. Eminger - plays because he has "bite". John Moore - immediately criticized for not being physical enough and has stepped it up. MDZ - and torts deserves a lot of credit here - has learned to by physical largely because or Torts. Boyle - readily admits that Torts taught him the importance of being physical on every shift (he isn't successful and isn't nearly as nasty as he should be but that's not Tort's fault)
And the best evidence of all is Kreider - sent to the minors because he had NO physical play. What was the one thing that was noticeable about his play when he came back? Finishing checks.
Contrast to Miller - who he liked and was physical.
The real problem with the this team is that is a group that simply isn' t that physical. Richards - skill player. Hagelin - skill player - throws checks but isn't punishing . Zucc (throws the body but too small to matter) - Stephan - skill player who throws checks but isn't punishing. Brassard - skill player - still not clear - Gaborik - worst of the worst and is now gone -
And finally there's Nash. All I can say is, maybe his early season stuff was more because he was on a new team and wanted to make an impression.
If your point is that Torts isn't using his 4th line enough, - well, maybe, but the bottom line is that I find it very hard to believe that the lack of physical play is coming from Torts.
@Fitforever23 Why do u have to take a penalty? Crush him into the boards with a legal hit. And doing nothing didn't really help the comeback
@PenaltySh0t I must have missed the Cally Giroux fight. No one stuck up for him.
@ChrisP Great point.
I hate to believe that, but it's not easy to dismiss.
@GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG Before the Flyers game and right after God Bless America they cut the camera to Brian Boyle taking pulls of amyl nitrate...
I hear you, and again, "you cant fire the players...so fire the coach"
1) Nope..not in the locker room. Only going off experience..played with young Caps...and played with the grizzled old Caps. And the overwhelming majority of the time...it was the old Caps who got in your face in the locker room. From my experience, it takes time for young Caps to really take control of a locker room. Not a big deal really...its just the natural order of things I suppose.
2) Not sure what your point is concerning Nash. My point was that he needs to pick up his physical game. That's about it.
3) Haley can play. He can skate. Took the body on every shift. Even got a few scoring chances. Deserved to stay up. Mashinster, was an incomplete. He can skate as well. But played timid....mostly likely was too busy thinking, rather than playing when he was on the ice. Had no problem with Torts sending him down...would like to see him again tho.
As for your points on the forecheck....we are in agreement.
It's not the Dmen I'm concerned about...it's the forwards who's hitting is lacking.
Eveyrone here knows I'm not a fan of Kreider's game....I believe he plays a soft game. But I believe the reason for his being sent down, is because he often plays out of position...which leads other players to be out of position. And Torts will not tolerate someone who's out of position constantly.
As far as the players not being physical...because they're just not physical individuals....well, i just don't buy it.
We are a bigger team than the Islanders....but ever since Capuano told his team that " they had to hit to win...and if they didnt hit..they wouldn't play"......the team started playing better. It's not a coincidence. He benched several players, told other they'd be sent down. It's called motivation.....and Capuano did a fantastic job.
And there's one thing to check...its another to "follow through your checks"..".finish your checks".."check violently".
I'm not asking for our "skilled" guys to put guys through the glass and into the 7th row. But can they at least make an effort? Make the boards shake? Heaven forbid, a clean open ice hit? I'm sick of seeing "love tap" checks.....hit with some intensity.
Hitting is a mindset. Everyone can do it. You can be small, and still hit with intensity....but you have to want to do it. And if a player is not willing....the Coach must motivate.
@TheNYRBlog I stand corrected, thought you were referring to a fightSomeone should have answered. appreciate the response.
@GraigGiuliani I know.....that's what I meant. "no way in hell Cally would let him get elbowed like that and do nothing" referring to the coach has to have something to do with this.
You've played the game...so you know what i'm talking about when it comes to those' "lovetaps".....it absolutely drives me crazy.
It's hard to put them blame somewhere....you're right about that. But blame has to be placed....and it usually falls on the coach.
You know the old saying..."you cant fire the players...so fire the coach"......
Something has to be done to address the "physical problem" in the off season.
If you have players who dont want to finish their checks....then bring in players that have no problem taking the body and enjoy doing it.
I'm sure we all agree that, while it's apparent there's a problem, both the cause and the solution are hard to figure. Both of your arguments resonate with me -- I think you're both right.
The point about finishing checks is such a huge one with me. I hate the love taps too. What really gets me is that I know a lot of these guys know the importance of finishing checks, so why aren't they doing it? I don't fault Kreider for not having the aspect of his game developed. I think Stepan, and especially Hagelin, really had to develop that aspect of their play. Hagelin isn't killing anybody out there, but he isn't getting killed either. You have to have a modicum of a physical game just to be in the game. I agree that the physical aspect is a big and baffling stumbling block for this team. It's tough to swallow that Torts is responsible, I don't really buy it, but I don't have any better explanations either. I wish Larry Brooks or Andrew Gross would ask them point blank: "So, why do you guys plays so soft, not finishing checks or not hitting at all sometimes?"
@GraigGiuliani but the thing is, they all started off mean and nasty. Esp. Haley and Clowe, but got progressively worse. what the hell?!
@PenaltySh0t Ah! Got it.
Definitely a different mentality this year, which must be from the top down. Bickle, Rupp, Haley, Asham, Clowe all seem neutered this year.