Rangers coach John Tortorella (courtesy of meetthematts.com)
When I was a kid, one of my favorite movies to watch with my dad was “A Few Good Men” with Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and Jack Nicholson. In the movie, Nicholson spouts off many classic lines, but one in particular fits the situation going on between John Tortorella and whoever else he decides to put in the news; “What the hell is going on in Bravo Company Matthew?”
Precisely! What the hell is going on with John Tortorella these days? Firs he insights a proposed fistfight between himself and Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates and now he’s calling out his own player about stinking up the Power Play unit who has been nothing short of dismal these playoffs.
According to the New York Daily News, Tortorella was quoted saying “…he stinks on the power play… I don’t know why. I wish I could play him more on the power play but every time I put him on, he stinks” when asked why Rangers winger Carl Hagelin hasn’t seen much ice time on the Power Play. Tortorella would also go on to say that Hagelin was “ ...a jitterbug and he screws it up… but the power play stinks. It’s true. That’s why he may get an opportunity.”
So how does Carl Hagelin respond? According to the New York Post Hagelin told reporters when asked about his coach’s
Criticized Rangers winger Carl Hagelin (courtes of New York Daily News)
comments ““I don’t really have any comments, all I can say is I don’t stink.”
Is it just me or does almost every coach in the New York market (with a couple exceptions) seem to have this somewhat media-hungry psychotic side about them? If you’re a sports fan, I assume you know the whole story of the New York Jets and all they’ve done to stay in the news. But now it seems like the Blue Shirts want to get themselves on Page 6.
Carl Hagelin isn’t the problem John Tortorella! Your power play as a whole is God awful, dare I say s##ty! Your unit has only scored twice with the extra man, and went 0-5 in Game 2 against the Boston Bruins. It’s not Carl Hagelin’s fault! Try calling out a guy like Brad Richards or Derek Stepan or the rest of the special teamers as well. They’re just as much to blame as Carl Hagelin is.
Actually John, don’t call them out! Don’t call anyone out to the media! If you do have to, call out yourself for not coaching the unit correctly, or for not preparing your assistants to coach them correctly!
And honestly he’s not to blame! Hagelin has already improved his point totals in the playoffs this season (2 goals 3 assists) and has a plus/minus rating of +5 and yet the Power Play is now 2-31. Torts and his assistants obviously haven’t done a good enough job on that end. Is it chemistry issues? Who’s to say but one thing’s for certain; John Tortorella seemed a bit irresponsible by just calling out a player instead of saying he needs to do a better job preparing his team for the man advantage.
As for Hagelin’s comments, stand up for yourself! By saying “I don’t have any comments” it seems to me like you don’t want to start something between yourself and your coach and I get that. But where’s the line? Someone just said you sucked and it’s someone who is your leader and all you have to say is “I don’t have any comments…but I don’t stink”? Where’s the passion? Where’s the intensity? Someone called you out and that’s all you said?!?!?!
It’s things like this that make it easy to see why the Rangers are in yet another 0-2 hole. Something has to give in the City that Never Sleeps. And if it doesn’t, who’s to say that the Rangers won’t take, that is take Tortorella’s job? The seat is hot John.