John Torotrella came to the Rangers with the motto "safe is death." He was going to turn the conservative offense game plan that Tom Renney had implemented and ultimately got him fired into an uptempo, north/south goal scoring juggernaut. At least that's what we thought. Unfortunately, after evaluating his personnel, Torts felt his new team couldn't win with that mentality and installed a system that relied on defense and a tough forecheck to win games.
Now just 24 games into the Alain Vigneault regime, it looks like he might be coming to the same conclusion (via Daily News)...
“(Monday night’s 5-0 loss to the Lightning) was our 24th game, and in 15 of those games we’ve scored two goals or less. That’s a pretty good chunk if you want a segment that tells you what you have. There’s a chunk there that tells us we’re not scoring a lot. Maybe we’ve got to play even tighter to the vest than we are and go into games with that mentality of (trying to win) 2-1.”
...can you say Torts redux? Does this quote scare the crap out of anyone else? AV was brought here to kick start the offense and now he's talking about playing Torts hockey?!?!?!
...the problem right now is this team is caught in between. Unfortunately, AV systems take away a lot of what key Rangers players such as Callahan, Stepan and Girardi did so well. Less forechecking, shot blocking and physical play. It's like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.
...so now a quarter of the way through the season, AV is stuck at a crossroads. Continue on and hope his players begin to get more comfortable in his system or cut his losses and tailor a game plan geared more towards his personnel. Sort of scary. Maybe AV would have been better off doing some research on his players this offseason instead of just giving everyone a "clean slate."
...you would have thought Sather might have properly evaluated how his current roster would have fit in Vigneault system before making the hire. Just because AV has a great offensive scheme, doesn't mean the Rangers have the players to run it.
Well unfortunately, AV can't go and score goals for his team. It's up to the players. Obviously the system has something to do with it, but it has nothing to do when Stepan wiffs at a puck when he's in front of the net, or del Zotto shoots wide, etc. The Rangers just need more scorers, it's that simple. It all falls on the players, and most importantly Sather. He assembled this team and hoped that pyatt, and pouliot would be our "depth" players who could score. He should be accountable for our scoring failures.
Is Sather the oldest GM in Hockey? I hope this season is his swan song. Let's start a rumor that someone named Patrick wants to come back.
I've said it three times and got yelled at each time. There just isn't enough talent here plain and simple. If we are being honest how many of these guys could be top 6 forwards on a great team? Chicago, Pitt, Boston, LA, Anaheim, etc. Nash and....? Cally is great 3rd line grinder, hagelin and Stepan maybe 3rd liners on those clubs, probably 4th. Everyone is hanging from Krieder nuts but he's scored three goals...why? 6'3 225 fast as lighting. Take your team now and scrap it. Do what St. Louis did. What tampa did. what Dallas and Detroit are doing. Trade Lunquist, girardi, staal and boyle. Get back draft picks and young, tall, fast players--more krieders-- to build around stepan, Nash and McD under AV's System.If talbot stinks, you have 9 million in cap space to go find a keeper. As long as allaire is the coach im confident the keeper spot will be fine. You have 4 legit skaters on this club. 5 if you're confident in staal. Everyone else should be on-the-block in my opinion. Now I know all of you think they'll put it together and nash/lundquist--despite mountains of evidence to the contrary--will put it together and carry us on their back to a cup. More likely. Nash will disappear in the playoffs bc the other teams can key on him with no one else to fear. Cally will be held together with duck tape and hank will be normal streaky hank. exit 2nd round. In pro sports either contend for a title or bottom out, middle of the pack is the absolute worst place to be. I bet you could get an absolute WAR CHEST from pittsburgh for hank and girardi.
if we go to a style that leads to 2-1 games I won't watch this team anymore. what garbage. I got so tired of watching torts make his guys block shots and endlessly cycle the puck. I was looking forward to a more north south style...I guess if it's to hard it's not worth it boys. jeeeeeze!!!
Once again, the media astounds me with its ability to read into things. Seriously, all you guys should get together and start a phd program in Sound Byte Criticism. Larry Brooks could be like Foucault and sleep with all of his male students.
Right now the team is not scoring and playing incredible defense -- in a new system, mind you. AV says something about it musingly and references "mentality" only -- not "system" -- and suddenly it's the second coming of Torts.
It's a beautiful and yet frustrating thing to watch. All of us with knee prints on our foreheads.
Why does it have to be one or the other? Dualustic thinking will get you in trouble in a game of flow and speed. Why not have a D first forecheck mentality while implementing what's good about AV's system ie. transition, north-south. Rather than thinking his team is an offensive bust try figuring out how to maximize what talent he has while getting the dead weight ( and we all know who that is) out of the line up. Safe is death. Yes. You listening AV?
WAY too much focus on the coach here -past and present.
Tony Dungy WAS and IS a defensive guru. He spearheaded the Bucs defense that won a Super Bowl. He goes to the Colts and....wins the SB with a prolific offense and very suspect defense.
Brian Billick WAS and is an offensive guru. He goes to the Ravens and wins the SB with a dominant defense and almost non-existent offense.
....and of course, follow up with Torts and what he did in Tampa and then what he did with the Rangers.
You coach to the strengths of the players you have. Shula was an expert at it as well.
Fact is....the Rangers don't have a helluva lot of strengths. Theys have neither the talent, nor size, speed and toughness essential to win in this league. Torts understood this and chose the BEST system to minimize these deficiencies.
My question to you is do you think that ANYONE on Earth can implement a tighter and more conservative defense than Torts? Truly, is there anything else that could have been done to further maximize THAT approach?? Of course not.
This falls squarely on Glen effing Sather. The teams he has assembled throughout his tenure are simply not very good...INCLUDING the team that had a great run due to a largely unsustainable approach.
Fortunately, it is not like Sather has job security.....DOH!.....oh yeah...he does.....FOREVER!
its the players, they will wake up. AV is taking the heat for an underperforming team when torts would have half the team under the bus already . the players will notice and he will win them over . they are showing some great signs under his system i
why cant we question the players for not scoring? last i checked they are supposed to have a very offensive lineup, league wide people say mdz is great puck mover bla bla where is it? brasS is 1st round pick playing 3rd line cause hes stinking it up. callys been good for 30 and been quiet, kreider supposed to be elite but still not getting goals, stepan just held out under performing, hagelin? pouliot can fly supposed to be helping, nothing, hobbit playing tough but no goals lately. THEN you have the big guns, ok richy playing better but not for his $ still, nash cant stay in lineup and needs to create more offense for sure . they are getting killed on faceoffs and
So let's see. Torts gets his ass chewed off for not adapting to the Nash / Brassard, etc. acquisitions, aka more skilled players over the grinding line-up we used to have. One of the biggest complaints about Torts here on this blog was how he never adapted. Well, AV is trying to implement his system. But he sees the limitations. And now, I don't know, maybe he's......adapting? What's amazing is how a quote that is SO inconsequential, that in reality was nothing but a sound byte, has turned into this. And Kevin, man, you're a great writer. But what is this crap? I don't know if you're trying to bring in more juiceheads to the blog or what but you're stirring crap up like crazy. This is nonsense. This doesn't mean AV is going to completely re-haul his system. He's ADAPTING to what he has to work with / how his players are currently playing, something everyone seemed to lambaste Torts for being unable to do.
Here's a thought experiment: what's the only constant from the Renney Rangers, Torts Rangers, and AV Rangers?
Seriously, if the Rangers don't play a crazy defensive, collapse and block every shot system in front of him they can't win. The Rangers have lacked scoring because they're so worried about protecting Hank all the time. There have been hundreds of different players in front of Hank since he started, and yet, it's always been someone else's fault. Yes, the goalie can't score. But he sure as hell can effect the mindset of the locker-room. Please trade this clown before he signs somewhere else and the Rangers get NOTHING for him.
Sather did evaluate his roster, and delusionally thought this would work. Remember all those pre-camp pressers when AV would talk about the up-tempo style he wanted and make comments like "I've been told we've got the skill here to do that" because he wasn't watching video??? F'ING SATHER!!!
i was looking for video of how he said it. seems more like a challenge to the players, almost a punishment haha, if you dont score ill make you play torts style again!! they probably shit there pants, i 4-5 goals tonight
@BringBackBeukeboom I like the taste of what you're drinking, but I feel like the whole glass is going to turn out to be antifreeze in the long run.
We do need to make a big trade at this point, but a wholesale liquidation is not necessary. At this point we have almost the same skeleton as we did for the 94 cup. Hank is killer and McD has flashes of Leetch when he gets the chance.
As much as I hate to say it, I think Girardi and Hagelin are the key players in a trade. Throw in MDZ, Boyle and maybe Zucc or someone else and you could get a king's ransom from a team in a similar spot, but aimed in the opposite direction.
For that, I think you could get a proven sniper, a spare D, and a grinder or two. Bring back JT and whatever Beuk has is the works and you have two scoring lines, one disruptive line, and one destructive line which is exactly what you need for a cup winning team.
@BringBackBeukeboom we went further then st. louis, dallas, tampa and dettroit COMBINED last year. ok im done
@BringBackBeukeboom you are no doubt gay all you ttalk about is young tall strong wtf is this? haha wow, i could have a field day. boyle and staal are 14 ft on skates but ytou want to trade for taller?? who shaquille? wtff get a fn grip man the rangers are win now dude they are 2nd mostt valuable team in the nhl .
@BringBackBeukeboom GOD YOUR AN IDIOT. PITTS WOULD GIVE NOTHING!! THEY HAVE A 6 MILLION DOLLAR GOALTENDER SO UNLESS YOU WANT A 1-1 THATS THE DEAL.
@BringBackBeukeboom KEVIN PLEASE LET ME BAN THIS BAFOON!!! SORRY MAN I LOVE MY FELLOW NYR BUT I CANT TAKE PEOPLE SUCKING BOSTON U KNOW... DEREK STEPAN WOULD HAVE LEAD THE BRUINS IN POINTS BY 8 LAST SEASON, THATS RIGHT HE HAD 44 THERE TOP GUY HAD 36, RIGHT NOW HED BE TIED FOR 2ND ON THERE TEAM. SO WTF ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?? HOLY SHHHHH GODDD PULLING MY FN HAIR OUT YOU MUS WORK FOR ESPN FOR HOW MUCH YOU LOVE BOSTON
@BringBackBeukeboom Why won't you go and ask the Flyers how their goalie search is going. If you think finding a legit goalie is easy, then you're delusional.
I Think you're onto something, thinking big picture, trading hank is the move right now. Not because he's not good enough, but because he IS still good enough to get back pieces that will make us a much improved team. It's been fun watching the hank show, but no point having the best goalie if we are going to almost never score. Tired of it- time to fix it while we can, with our most valuable trading chip, while he is still so valuable. Especially if Tabby turns out to be the real deal.
@BringBackBeukeboom Thank you, finally someone with sense. The obsession and love for Henrik is borderline delusional at this point.
@Hotfreak Haha...this is true. Still doesn't exonerate Sather though. His capacity to think falls somewhere between the simple bivalves and Ann Coulter.
@DubiLeetch Hope you're right.
@DubiLeetch Spot on!
@boogiepicker certainly warranted some comments, its a very meaningful quote if he meant it. big if though.
@boogiepicker I've actually been happy with AV's patience as the players become more comfortable in his system, but to suddenly say we're going to play tight to the vest because the team is having issues finishing is frustrating.
That doesn't sound like adapting, that sounds like a whole sale change of his game plan.
And I'm not sure how you can say that quote is inconsequential, He's basically admitting his system isn't working.
Why wouldn't he just tinker with the plan by sending more players to the net to cause havoc in front. You know, similar to what Kreider was doing on the power play before it was inexplicably abandoned once Nash returned.
@MiddleSwine without hank, there never would have been an ECF run. there probably wouldnt even be a whiff of the playoffs in lord knows how long
@MiddleSwine Don't forget Jim Ramsey. Guy's been around forever, bringing everyone down in the locker room. Or Sam, he hasn't had success since '94. Then there's that Dolan guy. Oh and that Sather guy who may have something to do with it. But yeah no you're right, the Vezina winning goalie who's won 30 games every single year of his career (except the lockout) is probably definitely to blame. Because of the mindset of the players in front of him, who are obviously all really concerned about what Hank thinks about them.
@MiddleSwine you're an idiot
@DubiLeetch Very odd.
This sounds like someone wrapping up an answer to a media response, not someone who's thinking of going and overhauling his entire system. You can't take that quote and extrapolate it to mean he's upending all the work he has done. I don't equate "playing tighter to the vest" to automatically mean 'abandon the transition game, keep the defensemen from pinching, grind, grind grind etc.' I just don't think one small line in an interview question can be broadened to a complete overhaul in the system.
“I don’t think we played our best tonight,” Lundqvist said. “We battled, but we have to manage the puck better. The last four games, we’ve allowed a lot of chances against us.”
Renney was quick to say the fault was not Lundqvist’s.
“If we keep the chances to 10 or 12, Henrik’s great,” Renney said.
“The fact of the matter is, he’s a victim of a sloppy team in front of
him.”" http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/01/sports/hockey/01rangers.html?pagewanted=print&_r=0 Yes, Hank has had sloppy teams for the past 7 seasons. It's not his fault!!! Shuuuuuuuuuuut up.
@Kevin DeLury @boogiepicker What I'm saying is I don't think we're going to see a complete re-haul of the system. For now, if we have to be more conservative in certain aspects of our game, like placing an electric dog fence at the blue line and having DZ wear a collar to keep him from pinching, then I'm okay with that, until we start scoring. I feel like this is more of an argument about semantics than anything. I can't see AV trying to have this team adapt to a new style again. In my opinion, I think he was talking about making small adjustments rather than huge, wholesale changes. But I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Leonard even sent out this tweet: https://twitter.com/PLeonardNYDN/status/405710910574329856
I do agree with you that I'm not anticipating a completely different game plan tonight, but was surprising to see him even mention it.