After the Rangers latest debacle yesterday afternoon, John Tortorella was asked what needs to be done to turn this around. His answer...
"There's no specific answer I can give you."
...yikes! Was hoping to get a better answer from the captain of this sinking ship called the S.S. Rangers than that.
...how about "we need to get tough," "we need a better forecheck," "I need to open up the offense more," "I need to reunite Hags-Step-Nash." Torts not having an answer sort of scares me.
...i know everyone is ready to pull a DiPietro and drive off the Throggs Neck Bridge right now, but we Rangers fans need to take a deep breath. Torts is not getting fired, Gaborik is not getting traded and Richards is not getting bought out. Listen, I'm not trying to make excuses but the fact of the matter is the lockout threw everything out of whack for everyone. Some teams have been able to overcome it and some haven't. To me, Torts and his players were woefully unprepared to deal with the shortened camp and they've been playing catch-up ever since.
...my buddy Fleisch14 and I were talking the other day and we pretty much felt that if the Rangers aren't able to turn this season around, we're ready to give them a mulligan. I really do feel it's more than fair to use the lockout as an excuse. There is too much talent and left overs from the team that made it to the ECF to not comeback strong next year. So I really hope that Sather decides against blowing up the team and instead brings Torts back, makes some minor moves to address toughness and depth in the offseason and gives them the opportunity to show us what this team can do with a full camp and season. And if it doesn't work out, Gaborik's contract is over after next season and the Rangers can use the amnesty buyout on Richards that summer as well. Then Sather can rebuild around Nash.
Here's the rest of Tortorella's interview...
More post game reaction from the players...
...man, Lundqvist looked like he needed a hug after that one.
No answers Torts??? For starters try modifying your system to fit your current players and stop treating them like the blue collar, energy players who are well conditioned but offensively inept of last year. This year you have more scoring, but you have lost some of your energy, and because of the lockout your team is not as well conditioned. The coach is suppose to be smart. It's not brain surgery. ADAPT!!!!!!!!
Totally agree with you Kevin... Lockout messed this team up. I have lowered my expectations for them this year and Im just trying to enjoy hockey again. Nash helps a lot with that lol. Bring them all back next year, and then make moves if that fails. I just find it hard to judge this team this year based on this lockout.
the problem with "just calm down and wait it out" is that year after year we get stuck with the same bs with this team. Bring in new guys, get through one round of the playoffs, or get knocked out in the first round, and repeat with another mediocre season. We finally get this golden opportunity to win it all and we faceplant on the damn ground and the coach isn't doing sh!t about it ! Training camp was NEVER an excuse, and it isn't today! A good coach accomadates to the type of players he has, he shouldn't have to drill his system into every new player, play to their strengths and weaknesses! And because the D are having a VERY bad year, and the offense is being choked, we have nothing to do and we're just going to keep losing games in this humiliating fashion! Torts has always angered me and if he doesn't change his damn style to accomadate newbies I'm for him getting booted as much as anyone else cause this is some BS!
watching the bruins pens game right now - a rare opportunity for me to see a televised game - everybody seems to have a spring in their step
@TheNYRBlog Great read as always! Appreciate your perspective on our team's current struggles.
Just watched Hank's interview. It looks like he's caught between wanting to cry and beating the entire team over the head with his stick. Read Andrew Gross' blog post about it, and he said Hank had a broken goalie stick on the floor next to him... can't say I blame him.
Excuses we have pleny of even from Kevin now. In the opinion of all the experts,the Rangers have plenny of talant which leaves me to believe that the coaching staff is not doing a job and it is better to fire a coach then the whole team. This team can not play the style the coach want them to so lets see if some one els is available. How about Lindy Ruff, he is a no nonsense coach with more savy then Torts. I'am not ready to give them a mulligan like you're willing to Kevin. Torts wanted Richards, he got him.He vanted Nash, he got him. Now lets sh-t or get off the pot. It is desgracefull. Same crap every year. One cup in 72 years. It sickens me. What a joke of a team.
Prolly devil fans saying it in the 1st place, anyway why hasn't Nash played with Stepan yet? He's got everyone else going... Hagelin-Stepan-Nash
I disagree with Kevins "Build around Nash" Idea. He's not old, but he isn't 22 either. I don't think this is the time to rebuild around anyone, unless we plan to trade all the youth and Hank for other, younger players? A commenter here said we have the parts but just "need the glue" to hold it all together.(It was giammarcor). I like that. I think we are using the wrong glue here. Ever try gorilla glue on plastic? Doesn't work. We had Prust glue and it worked like a charm. I think Pyatt is awesome around the puck, but him, Halpern, Haley, Powe, Boyle... even Kreider now.. we can trade them. Get someone who makes an impact. A spark. We have none. Dubi and Prust were sparks. We lost Dubi and Ani (and a depth D who wasn't ready to play anyway) for Nash. So now we get 2 sparks like Ani and Dubi were (okay maybe Dubi only) and get this ship turned around.
Anyone else think the fighting is missed? One fight in the last, like, 20 games. Last year it was rare to not see the Rangers fight, and that was a first place team.
I'm frustrated, but the Rangers struggling isn't anything I'm not used to, so I'm starting to become patient. My two favorite teams went to the conference finals and won the Superbowl respectively last year, so I'm still pretty thankful for that. Just gonna chill and see where we go.
@TheNYRBlog that's cause he refused to look in the mirror
I like your approach & hypothesis about this season & next- that is hold steady 1 more year don't move 10 & no buyout if 19. I am frustrated too but fact of the matter is there is a bunch of talent here & we start over because of a disappointing g season. I laugh when I read posts that Nash is now a problem bc he hasn't scored in 3 games or lundquist s. traded because he is not having a vezina year. People need to get a grip or go cheer for the devils.
kinda shitty time to be a rangers fan, but we're going to have to watch (or not) as they work through this together. there may be some big moves coming -- frustrated as i am, i kind of hope not. it's too bad they haven't been able to pull it together thus far, but big roster changes, not to mention a change of coach, most likely means we have to wait even longer for blueshirts success. gotta stay the course here and keep working. as fans, we're entitled to bad attitudes -- we got some borderline suicidal bloggers around here -- but the guys on the team do not enjoy that luxury (the luxury of depression). they have to try and stay positive and just keep at it, keep working. they will score a goal again at some point, and they'll even win another game.
@TheNYRBlog Maybe its time to bring Kreider and McIlrath back!
It gets obnoxious when people start talking about Torts' "system" like they actually know how to coach a pro team. The team is suffering from a lack of chemistry offensively, not a bad system.... as Tortorella said in the interview, he coaches on playing away from the puck and pretty much lets the top guys do whatever they want to generate offense in the zone. The mistakes and miscues are systematic, just lack of confidence and poor decision-making that is neutering the offense.
One thing I will blame Tortorella for is the constant line jumbling... no camp, and now the players are being shuffled around so much they can't find any chemistry. Stepan, Callahan, and Hagelin are the only players who can play with pretty much anybody. Everybody else looks lost out there... bad breakouts, can't move thru the neutral zone, can't get a cycle going down low. It all has to do with chemistry, morale, and confidence at this point, which they have very little of. I can't tell if Tortorella has lost the room yet, but the players on the team aren't helping each other out...
Woah! You want to go through this ANOTHER year? We are watching less successful organizations leapfrog over us ( Islanders, Columbus, Toronto, Ottawa ) and will build on a successful season. The already well organized teams ( Boston, Pittsburgh, New Jersey ) will continue on their path. Do you think disappointments Philadelphia and Buffalo are going to "give their team a mulligan" and make minor changes to try again next year? How far back do you want to fall? Until it takes years to rebuild and correct it? We have a basic core to build around ( Nash, Callahan, Stepan, Haglin, Miller, Krieder, Stall, Girardi, and McDonaugh). Everyone else should be expendable (including our unsuccessful G.M. and coach) and available to use for improvement)
This is done beginning NOW, not a year from now when we are looking from deeper in our hole.
@TheNYRBlog boyle halpern powe 62 games and 1 goal. Pathetic.
Agreed. Was just talking about this with my guy the other day and it'd be the epitome of foolishness to make any drastic changes to the team or the coaching staff based on this stupid short season. If we don't finish well, lets just put it behind us and start fresh and strong next year.
Agreed 100%. The parts for success are here. We need some glue to use in between those parts. Next year we could see McIraith added to the lineup for backend toughness as well. That would be a welcome addition.
As shitty as they have played this season, they are still a .500 hockey club. The way some fans have been going off the deep end, you would think their record is 8-20. Like Torts said, one good week and you're back in a payoff spot.
@TheNYRBlog good article totally agree with all you said..fans are always so damn quick to get rid of everyone if you don't win all the time
How do you explain the lack of chemistry on this team? Obviously you need the right pieces on a team to create chemistry. How much input does a coach have to help create good chemistry on a team? Is the lack of a camp effecting Torts ability to create cohesion on this team? Too many questions.
Many good comments, but I cannot buy into the lockout excuse. Besides the fact that each team obviously started with the same issue, you can tell the chemistry is off. Guys aren't sticking up for each other like last year. The team lacks grit (please don't get me started on losing my favorite player, Prust). Said another way, I don't perceive the Rangers problems from a lack of a full camp or conditioning. There is something greater going on here and it's hard to know unless you are in the lockerroom. Like many people have suggested -- and I am beginning to wonder this myself -- last year the Rangers may have caught lightening in a bottle and nothing more. Yes, they have a lot of talented players, but a lot of talented players not playing up to their capabilities. There are many lesser lights on other teams that are giving 100 percent and scoring way beyond their capabilities, thus propelling their teams. So, maybe last year was a fluke and now we're seeing the real Rangers? I hope not. Not with all of this talent, but who the heck knows???
I disagree. I dont think its fair at all to use the lockout as an excuse. Its the lockouts fault that richards and gaborik have shown zero passion or desire to win? Bullshit. Soft lazy and uninspired. That has nothing to do with the lockout. Its work ethic. Or in our teams case lack thereof. No mulligans and no excuses. Cut it out
@TheNYRBlog I couldn't agree more with your statements.
@kicker75 Given his skill level perhaps the team should consider changing their defensive strategy some and instead of trying to block so many shots, which sometimes backfires and wind up being deflected into the net, not to mention injures our players maybe focus on clearing the crease instead so Hank can see the puck. He'll stop virtually everything he sees short of a deflection. For a guy who's always screened and frequently run into he's got a heck of a save percentage. I've heard some criticism here lately about him surrendering rebounds but if you can't see the puck that will inevitably happen. This would be one adaptation of the torts system, though they would need players who are capable of clearing the crease for him. Unless they address that issue who would blame him for packing?
@jackattack71 Appreciate your readership!
@scrangersfan What you're saying is fair, but blowing up this team has the potential to set the team back even further. And Lindy Ruff? The guy barely made the playoffs half the time he was coaching in Buffalo.
Also wanna express the faith I still have in Richards and Gaborik. Richards is Canadian, he's a center, and he's very good. Nuff said.
Gabby can shoot better than 95% of the league, just in a slump. Let him climb out, it's a no-brainer. Elite talent. Cannot argue that. Nobody on Vancouver is worth that man, no one person, but maybe a pair of twins.
@MikeBlue You don't fix lack of chemistry by blowing things up. That just makes it more likely a repeat of this season will happen. Now do changes need to be made? Yes. Lack of toughness and depth needs to be addressed, but just because you dump Richards & Gabby and bring in Corey Perry doesn't automatically lead to success. We all thought getting Nash was the missing piece. How's that working out?
@MikeBlue Yeah, pretty sure blowing up the entire organization is not going to help with this team's morale...
@doomsday822 Yeah, blowing up team doesn't make sense. It's been 27 games since ECF. Got to give them a chance with full season.
@mikefisher1991 Yeah, blowing up team doesn't make sense. It's been 27 games since ECF. Got to give them a chance with full season.
@kicker75 understood, and hindsight is always 20/20 however at this stage of the shortened season he appears to me to be a dog chasing the same parked car over and over again. I'm not saying he should change his system which in today's game is fundamentally sound, just adapt your system to your changing personnel. That is what good coaches do.
@DanW I only suggested build around Nash as a last resort if they can't turn this around by summer of 2014. I'm more than willing to make minor changes and see what this team can do with a full camp and season next year.
@kicker75 @coontzbloontz Well whether he's coaching too much or too little in the offensive zone, it still leads to underconfident players, lack of chemistry, and low goal totals. The team has no morale and are clearly not cohesive on the ice, and I was speculating on how much that relates to Tortorella's coaching... in my opinion, it has less to do with the system and more to do with the locker room situation.
I don't get what line jumbling has to do with the system... the line combos get altered throughout the game based on who is playing well and who isn't. In the case of Gaborik, Torts throws him on a line with practically everybody.
I think ultimately the Rangers' problems are much more intangible than what Tortorella talks about in the video room and what he writes on the chalkboard... The players just aren't gelling. Remember, we played well last year when we stuck to a stiff defense. Hank had much more support. Also, Gaborik and Richards were actually scoring some goals, Cally had a career year for goals, Stepan avoided a sophomore slump, Hagelin broke out... They're just not playing the way they used to.
@kicker75 "Coaches need to implement their system and if it isn't working they need to adapt that system to figure how to work things out."
-- i'm with that, kicker ... it's hard to tell what the system really is sometimes, but it's easy to suspect torts doesn't coach to everybody's strengths, rather he tries to get them to fit into the system ... whatever that is
@coontzbloontz I have watched Tortorellla burn teams out in the A.H.L. (Rochester) in the NHL with Tampa, and now with the Rangers. His system peaked last year and now begins the decline where public criticisims are expounded and the team has lost faith in the coach. You only have to look back to look forward to see how this ends.
@TheNYRBlog no doubt about it
@TheNYRBlog And we had only two players play overseas and I think MAYBE 2 or 3 play in the AHL and they were Miller, I think Powe.
@AG_Blue @kicker75 the problem with blaming torts is when the team is playing well and we are winning, everything is fine and torts is awesome. We lose and the system is broken? Shit guys, this is hockey, and honestly I blame the players more than torts. Gaborik is driving me crazy, elite talent, plays like a 4th liner... I don't care if he doesn't like the system, make it work, you have the talent to make it work.
@scrangersfan @MikeBlue @coontzbloontz You people are nuts, I don't think he has lost this team, they all respect him. Richards wanted to come play for him again, he knew what he was getting into. He holds everyone responsible... they respect him, he demands their best, and they aren't giving it to him. I really don't think its fair to blame him. How can you say the team has lost faith in him? Based on what?
@MikeBlue That might be true in terms of Tortorella's personality and methods to motivate the team (I've heard people say the same things about what happened to him in Tampa), but his actual system has changed significantly since he coached Tampa.