Found March 28, 2013 on
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One of the most debated topics among Rangers fans this season has been whether or not John Tortorella is in fact at fault for the offensive struggles of Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. While most of our readership doesn’t seem to make Torts out to be a scapegoat, there are a small, but nonetheless vocal few who do point the finger at our coach.
Among this group, some think Tortorella’s systems and strategies are to blame, while others blame his intense personality. I think if you’ve been reading our hockey systems posts over the last few seasons, and our work on why Tortorella juggles his lines or how he distributes ice-time, you probably already know where we stand on this topic.
Of course, most of these systems posts are based on our own observations and experiences playing the game. However, so far this season, Tortorella hasn’t said a whole lot to the media about how he actually wants Rangers hockey to be played.
If you’ve never seen Behind the Bench on MSG, I’m not sure you can accurately form an opinion of John Tortorella. In this series, he often reveals his assessment of the team and individual players. He also breaks down film and talks about my favorite subject, hockey’s x’s, o’s, and philosophies.
In the latest episode, Bill Pidto asks John about a recent comment he made in a post-game presser which he admittedly doesn’t coach offense. Bill asked John to clarify his comments. Here’s what Torts said in his own words.
I look at offense in two ways. You have the skill set and creativity that these players have and then there’s the part that comes into coaching. I use the word manufacture. Are we doing the job on our forecheck to create scoring chances down low? Are we getting in the blue looking for the tips? Are our point shots getting through?
But in terms of telling them what to do off the rush or where to take their shot, I have no right to even go near that because that is their god given ability! That is their creativity! Anticipation skills are huge for offensive players. You don’t want to get in the way or over coach that. With the team concept you talk about the manufacturing part of offense.”
I don’t know what everyone else thinks, but I found this quote to contradict a lot of the negativity about Tortorella’s personality and how it somehow stifles a player’s creativity. To be honest, I never really bought that argument anyway. You can sell me that some players aren’t right for this system (cough, cough Boyle). But can a personality affect creativity? Perhaps, but this quote says otherwise.
Further, Torts personality and systems hasn’t changed since he’s gotten here. And Marian Gaborik has two 40+ goal seasons playing for Torts. Brad Richards has a Cup and some of the best goal scoring seasons of his career under Torts.
Ultimately, it is on the players to execute within a team concept. This season, the execution hasn’t been there consistently, but before this thing is over, I’d bet we see both players return to form. When that happens, we will be right back on top where we belong.
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Per Steve Zipay, the Rangers are reportedly one of the top two teams contending for NCAA free agent Connor Allen out of UMass. In his 99 game NCAA career (through his junior year), the 6’1, 203 lb defenseman has a scoring line of 14-25-39. Allen, a native of Chicago is rumored to be down to the Rangers and Predators as his final two teams.
The Rangers, who are thin on defensive...
Yesterday, John Tortorella was a guest on the Michael Kay Radio Show (ESPN Radio) and discussed numerous issues including Marian Gaborik struggles, Chris Kreider's improvement, Marc Staal's status and more...
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...really interesting to hear Tortorella...
A few days ago, Steve Zipay noted that the Rangers were showing interest in NCAA free agent defenseman Connor Allen out of UMass. Today, the Rangers signed Allen to an entry-level deal. Terms of the deal are still unknown, although it is highly unlikely that the Rangers signed him for this season, as he would make contract number 50. It is more likely that his deal begins next season...
On Tuesday, I wondered with all the head shots Henrik Lundqvist has been taking lately along with his complains of headaches whether he was playing with a concussion.
Now comes this report from Pat Leonard at the Daily News that the Rangers will be monitoring Lundqvist to see if the effects of those blows will continue...
"...the Rangers will keep a watchful eye on...
The #NYR have agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Conor Allen, who played this season at UMASS-Amherst
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 29, 2013
Allen will report directly to the CT Whale on an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO), with his Rangers contract beginning next season.
The 6' 1", 210lb Allen finished his career at UMass with 14 goals, 25 assists...
In a web chat on ESPN.com, Katie Strang says there's a good chance the Rangers will stand pat at the trade deadline.
She adds that Glen Sather is likely to recognize that this isn't the year to go all in.
She reiterates the Rangers interest in Dan Boyle and Ryane Clowe, but says the asking price is probably too high.
Strang finishes by stating that a few of the...
The New York Rangers’ farm team, the Connecticut Whale, won two out of three games this past weekend at home. Defenseman Logan Pyett, forward Nick Palmieri, and Ranger prospect Andrew Yogan all had three points this weekend, while defenseman Dylan McIlrath, Sam Klassen, Blake Parlett, and forwards Ryan Bourque, Benn Ferriero, Brandon Segal, and rookie [...]
Whether you’re a lifelong fan of 40 years or a relative hockey/Rangers rookie we all have a that one common interest , the New York Rangers. However , why are we all Rangers ? Each fan has a background with this team that is unique and special to them. I would like to share mine [...]
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Senators GM Bryan Murray told CTV Ottawa before Thursday's visit by the New York Rangers that the back surgery the club's top centre had may not allow him to return this year
"(Erik) Karlsson and (Spezza) are real borderline at this time," said Murray.
Speaking during the morning skate, Murray said Spezza has been...
Rick Nash scored twice, Derek Stepan had a goal and three assists, and the New York Rangers extended their dominance of Philadelphia with a 5-2 win over the Flyers on Tuesday night.
Brad Richards and Chris Kreider also scored for New York, which has won 11 of the last 12 meetings with Philadelphia. Rangers coach John Tortorella became the 30th coach in NHL history to reach 400 wins...
Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record reports that despite Mats Zuccarello officially re-signing with the Rangers this morning, he will not be in the line-up vs. the Senators tonight as the Blueshirts will stick with the same line-up that tied a season high five goals against the Flyers Tuesday night.
Gross adds that Henrik Lundqvist will be back between the pipes for the ninth...
The New York Rangers (16-14-3) lost to the Ottawa Senators (19-9-6) by the score of 3-0, tonight. For a box score go to Yahoo! Sports.
...if we learned anything tonight, it's that the Flyers are eff'n awful.
...disgraceful display by the entire Rangers team to play that way with just 16 games remaining and the season hanging in the balance. Absolutely no effort or...
The New York Rangers (16-13-3) visit the Ottawa Senators (18-9-6) at Scotiabank Place starting at 7:30 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.
Rangers Game Notes
TV: MSG; Radio: ESPN Radio (98.7 FM), XM 214
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We have a category for “Irresponsible Rumormongering,” but this post probably belongs under “Completely Irresponsible Rumormongering That Might Raise Eklund’s Eyebrows.” Sorry for that, but it’s that time of year…
Marian Gaborik to San Jose for Dan Boyle
Boyle for Gaborik is the rumor mentioned most frequently by those in the know and it also happens...