The biggest news from practice today was that Henrik Lundqvist (shoulder) participated in full and said this about his status for Game 3 (via Bergen Record)...
“I landed on the ice awkwardly and hurt it a little bit. It’s under control. Everybody’s sore. It’s the playoffs. You can’t sit out (because) it’s hurting a little bit. it happens and you just have to make sure you do the right things to keep it good.”
...and that sound you hear is the collective sigh of relief from every Rangers fan.
...even an injured Lundqvist is better than 3/4 of the goaltenders in the league, so this is great news.
Also on the injury front Marc Staal (eye) and Darroll Powe (concussion) skated with the taxi squad after practice.
...Torts went with the panic move of going to Staal after getting down 0-2 to the Caps, but I don't seeing him going back to that well this time around.
In another piece of good news, the woefully inept defensive pairing of Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto were split up during practice today as Girardi was back on the top duo with Ryan McDonagh.
...if this move surprises anyone, you didn't watch the game yesterday.
Meanwhile, Carl Hagelin responded to John Tortorella assertion that he stinks on the power play...
“For me, I definitely don’t think I stink on the power play. That’s the only comment I have on the PP.”
...doesn't sound like a player who was exactly excited to hear his coach call him out.
...Hagelin makes things happen with his speed, so, despite Torts' comments, I think Hagelin should be given a legit chance on the power play in Game 3.
Speaking of Torts'comments, sounds like he's still pretty optimistic despite being down 0-2 to the Bruins (via Bergen Record)...
"I thought we played a much better game (than Game 1) in the second game. I’m very optimistic as far as where we’re going as a team."
While this comment might sound asinine or borderline crazy, I take you back two weeks ago when the Rangers were down 0-2 to the Capitals and Torts said this....
“I think we’re close, I’ll put it to you that way. But it means squat if you don’t win. I think [the games have] been a hell of a lot more even than a lot of other people think."
...maybe this Torts guy does know what he's talking about.
Although, I hope no one showed the Rangers head coach this stat after practice today...
#NYR According to Elias Sports Bureau, no NHL team has overcome 2-0 deficits to win consecutive best-of-seven series in one playoff year— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) May 20, 2013
...i guess there's a first time for everything. Right?
...according to TheNYRBlog's James Wrabel, the Bruins are 21-7 all time when leading a playoff series 2-0. Not completely dominating but .750 winning percentage is still pretty damn good.
As far as I'm concerned, after LA being the 8th seed last season and losing, what, like only 6 games in the playoffs (I'm not 100% sure on that number, but it's close) to win the Cup, I'm completely disinterested in "historical math." I'm interested in seeing passion, desire and exhaustive effort from my Rangers.
They let their foot off the gas in the first 2 games this series and that needs to stop right damn now, but I honestly don't think the Bruins played all that outstandingly in the first 2 games. Better than the Rangers? Yes, but considering how poorly the Rangers played in those games, that's not a very high bar.
The Rangers have what it takes to beat the Bruins - they just need to execute properly. If (when!) we win tonight, I think we win the series. This is exactly where Washington got cocky and started to underestimate the Rangers.
I don't have time to read the comments this morning, i wish I did, so-if I'm repeating anything here sorry...Girardi a -5, that's what's swirling around? He's a minus 5 because he was covering for his asshole partner, and don't tell me for one second on the play where he gets caught watching the puck in front of the net instead of engaging his check, you formed an opinion or decided that this goal was his fault? Maybe...but look again at the replay and watch MDZ feebly swing his stick out instead of taking his man directly into the boards, this would have negated the pass into the crease...Final point, Hagelin has been on the power play 17 seconds...Does anyone thing that Torts could be suffering from early onset dementia? Did anyone hear him curse in his interview with Pierre, NBC had no delay, or is it now approved by the FCC to GODDAMN on TV? I mean I swear as much as the next person, but....Guitar Jimmy Dolan, I hope you're happy with your clown coach...
Torts is very knowledgeable and potentially a great coach - with all my venting and frustration with him this year I've never lost sight of that, and he did make some key adaptations in the Caps series. Having said that I do not like him. Never did. I find his coaching style matches his personality. Smug and arrogant. Yeah last year he looked like a genius but this year he's looked like an ass for firstly not recognizing the impact of losing his grit guys would have but also for trying to play the same style that worked for a hard working undertalented team. We;ve gained talent, lost grit so modify the system to match the personnel. Seems simple enough - I saw it coming and it's baffling to me that a smart hockey mind did not, but again too much ego can blind. You don't have to be right Torts. You just have to win. Now, if he can put that big ego aside, recognize what is happening here in this series and make proper modifications to his system we can still win this thing, but it has to happen now. Right now we are playing to their strengths. They are bigger and more physical. Fact (especially with no Staal and Clowe). So basically we are playing a style that plays to their strengths. Not ours. We are faster than them, with a slight edge in skill from what I've observed. I'm no hockey coach but as a fan here's what I'd suggest. Challenge the point shooter. Constantly collapsing instead of challenging gives them possession and invites lucky bounces and deflections to go in if you keep giving them shots up high and collapsing down low. Collapsing is a good strategy for when the puck is down low but how many teams win that won't challenge the shooter. Especially if they know exactly how you are going to play. The system Torts uses is good and is a winning system but a good system needs the flexibility to make proper adjustments to meet your opponents. Re-pairing McD and G is a good start. Don't abandon the physical play and the defense first philosophy but we need to attack now, forecheck, pinch and pin and challenge up high and in the neutral zone. Cause turnovers and use superior speed and passing skill to create more scoring chances. LGR
I don't care how he talks to the players or the media.Its results that count and the bottom line is he will always have a team that competes but until he can adjust and adapt and not be so stubborn on his methods it will be tough for him to get the Top prize.. And by the way even coughlin had to do that in order to get to the next level of success
he is headed for the same result because Boston is deeper and has players more suited for that style
I don't really care what Torts personality is, The fact is his style of play and terrible PP pushes his players past their limits and exhausts his team spending too much time defending in their own end, having to play Lundquist in every regular season game just to make the playoffs this year. If the PP was just mediocre or he would just have a better balance of offensive attack to defense maybe he could have avoided some of the 7 game series last year and this year to allow his team to sustain their energy level. I believe that is the reason they lost to devils last year. Devils beat Phili in 5 and Rangers had an edge of your seat 7 game thriller that spent the Rangers. This year with different players
Realistically, as a Ranger fan, this will all be over soon enough and then hopefully management does the right thing and remove this coaching staff. I sense the team has lost it's interest in Torterella and have drowned him out. And how his sidekick Sullivan keeps his job is beyond amazing. Asst coaches specialty is making sure the special teams THRIVE. Unlike these 2 talking magpies EVERY team in the league has 3 coaches on the bench. 1 for defense 1 for the PP/PK. So the real blessing is bring in a new fresh staff with offensive philosophy in mind. The defense won't suffer as the base here is set. When the handshakes happen either Thursday or over the weekend we can finally move in a new direction. No coincidence this teams PP has SUCKED bad the last 5 years....
Everyone needs to chill out about Torts and the way he says things to the media. Whatever he said to them he said EXACTLY the same thing to the player. That's been his MO since he's been the team's coach and that's why the players respect him. They might not always like it, but they always respect it and listen to it. Everyone hated Tom Coughlin cos he wasn't cute and cuddly and last I heard he'd won 2 Super Bowls.
One thing I have to say, which is a huge positive about torts.... in the last two years when the Rangers have had to play with their back to the wall they are 7-1 (the only loss being game 6 against New Jersey). That is really impressive, and shows that Torts knows how to get the most out of his guys when he needs it!!!! LGR!!!!
I like going back to the D lines that helped get us two shut outs in a row. Expect we will see a lot of Mac & G. We have final change for the next two games which should really help our match ups. Wonder who Torts will put out against the 4th line that is causing us so much trouble. Perhaps the Boyle line (our real 4th line) in front but who on D?
Hagelin should have said, "I don't think I stink on the PP, but I do believe Torts is a horse's ass."
Correct me if I'm wrong but weren't the Rangers 0 for something in game 7's on the road before they won in Washington? I guess that 2-0 deficit record has to be broken this year too. :-)
@shishya100 If MDZ had a different coach it might be different for him. I'm not criticizing Torts, or excusing MDZ but their styles don't seem to gel. You gotta think Torts ain't going anywhere so Slats will most likely shop DZ around. This guy could still become one of the better attacking Dmen in the game, though at this point I would be happy to see all those mental errors go bye-bye.
@AL55S Who did Coughlin call out in the press and say he stinks?
@stRangers fan Sidekick Sulliven lol!!! Don't remember if you were one of the ones who criticized me for predicting the Rangers would take the Caps after going down 2-0??? The Bs have not looked all that impressive to me and infact the Caps were generating better scoring chances. King has been human and Coach appears to still be trying to play the Caps. We all need to do a collective Hail Mary that Torts will actually adapt to his opponent and get this job done. We can still win this thing. Problem is we need to be quicker and stop trying to match a stronger team's physical play. Be physical, yes but modify the system Torts. LGR
@jasonshyer Coughlin took off his hard hat and the players responded. Avery was probably closer to the truth than far from it. Is there a more arrogant coach in Western world sports than Torts? Not that I know of.
@jasonshyer None of us is in the lockerroom, but if you're point is that Tortorella treats the players exactly as he treats the meda (and therefore us fans) -- like $hit -- then we agree.
That sort of act wears thin. I'm convinced this team does not like playing for him, which explains the lack of effort most of this season.
@jasonshyer Coughlin is not a disrespectful d-bag in his dealing with people. While Torts may not be that bad with his players, I've not to think his tough-guy act wears thin. I know it has with me.
@knm05 So would Torts but the fact remains Hags has great speed & no hands. He is not a finisher. For evidence go look at the 3-breakaways he failed on in the Caps series & yesterday when he had the whole top of the net to shoot at & instead hit Rask right in the pads.
@fs2020 Well said.
@JohnPiccini Well said!!!!
@JohnPiccini I like your attitude! It is a great opportunity to improve another 0-fer stat...
never said coughlin called out thre press. It was always the players he was rotten to and overly strict to the point they stopped responding. he had to change in order to be effective as a coach. He would have not survived unless he changed. Torts could take a lesson.
I agree the players have to toe the company line but as a human how much of this guys crap can a person take. They will say all the right things because they are professional and also know that Tortorella is a vindictive SOB. He got rid of Avery and Gabby becasuse they didn't buy into his crap. He has no imagination he has been coaching the same style forever and what may have worked 10 years ago doesn't work now. He will never take on any accountability it's always the players fault never his , his game plan ot strategies, oh wait he doesn't have any. Hisidea is have Hank shut down the other team and hope the Rangers score a goal or win in in a shootout. Nice plan!
@Fish9876 R U Serious on Coughlin? If so u have no idea what ur talking about.
Jason...u r dead on & I have made the same point here several
@ThrSage not saying Hags deserves to be on the PP, I just think it makes Torts look like an idiot with no respect for his team when he makes those comments, I understand tough love but at what point does he grow up.
@Beckfan5 @Betweentheworlds @shishya100 Yeah, as a matter of fact he might. It's not as black and white as you seem to suggest, and never underestimate the impact a player, coach relationship has on the player. Truth be told (from my limited perspective) MDZ has a ton of skill and potential but has too fragile a psyche to ever realize it. Let him figure it out on another team