Posts Tagged ‘Tortorella’


Too much turkey- Rangers look slow, lose big

November 27, 2009

Not the return to Tampa Coach Tortorella envisioned

The Rangers traveled to the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday night to play the Tampa Bay Lightning where the Lightning have played exceptionally well this year holding a record of 5-1-4.  If we break this down, this means that when the Lightning play at home, in 90 percent of their games, they have emerged with at least one point.   In order for the Rangers to win tonight it was obvious they needed to  play at an extremely high level for the entire game.

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Lundqvist Phenomenal Against Ottawa-Rangers win in shootout

November 14, 2009


The Rangers were able to escape numerous scoring chances on the road against the Senators and sneaked out of Ottawa with a 2-1 shootout victory.

It was a complete team effort to even push the game to a shootout as the Rangers were called for a penalty in OT.  Kotalik was called for tripping with 1:23 left  giving the Senators a 4-3 man advantage.  Ottawa forced the pressure with shot after shot, but each time Callahan and Staal showed complete disregard for their bodies, throwing themselves in front of the blazing shots from Spezza and Lee.

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Streaky Rangers fall…again

November 13, 2009


The Rangers lost another game last night to the Atlanta Thrashers to a score of 5-3. Iyla Kovalchuk returned to action for the Atlanta Thrashers after being sidelined for 2 weeks after being hit with a puck in his foot.  He returned alright, scoring a goal and adding 2 assists carrying the Thrashers to the victory.

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Reenergizing the Garden

November 10, 2009


These are not your typical Rangers of years past.   Besides their recent success over the last few seasons, the Rangers are changing their demeanor as a hockey club.

Coach John Tortorella is a fiery coach; the complete antithesis of former Ranger coach Tom Renney.  We all remember during the Washington series Tortorella attempting to hop over into the stands with a stick in his hand going after an obnoxious fan.  Yes, this may have been too much, and he was reprimanded for his actions;  however, this is exactly the kind of intensity that his players need to bring to the ice every night.

The Rangers over these first 18 games are mean, physical, and constantly pushing the action in turn creating turnovers and scoring opportunities. Dictate the tempo!  By doing this, the opposing team will play on their toes and this is exactly what creates opportunities.

Fans don’t get excited for ‘reaction’.  Good teams act, and force the opposition to react.  As fundamental as it sounds, it is a trait that is overlooked and why teams such as the Red Wings are in the playoff picture year after year.  When you play in Detroit, the fans are amped for hockey because they know their team is going to come out and perform, and perform well.  You can’t say the same for the Rangers in the place once referred to as ‘Mecca’.

What happened to when opposing teams feared coming into the Garden when players like Anthony Mason for the most part ran sh*t?

One factor  that is extremely neglected in many arguments pertaining to why our New York Teams that call Madison Square Garden home are a constant disappointment year in and year out is the fact the Garden is not an intimidating place to play; but rather a place for teams to come and embarrass our beloved teams and showcase themselves on the world’s biggest sporting stage (cough, Lebron, cough) .  Why can’t GM’s realize that this is New York, and regardless of what Mayor Giuliani did to clean up the streets of New York, we need to bring back the ‘nasty’ that those competitive teams had that drove fear into their opponents every time they dared to step foot into the garden.  Truthfully, I think New York has lost it’s ‘gangsterness’ if you will.  The hardest state in the US should have the badest nastiest dudes playing for us.  Like Bart Scott, Antonio Pierce and David Lee.  Wait, David Lee is the toughest dude on the Knicks. 

Thats a problem.


A recent list came out talking about the most hated people in pro sports.  Sean Avery was at the top of the list.  Granted the list was alphabetical, but it is fair to say that if it wasn’t that he would be in the top 10.  Sean Avery is the kind of guy that can even annoy his own teammates (a reason why after his “sloppy seconds” comment got him shipped out of Dallas before he returned from his suspension).  But having Avery on the ice represents something.  It tells the opposing team that you will be in for night of hard-hitting, taunting, and aggravation whenever he is on the ice.  This psychological factor will some nights simply force teams to not play their style of play and stray from whatever their game plan was on that particular night.

So if the Rangers come out and play hard everynight and show heart, the crowd will respond and the Garden can become a factor again. With the additions of Avery and Donald Brashear, there will be a ton of physicality. Brashear guarantees one punch to be thrown during the night and Avery increases those odds even more giving the fans something they can go apeshit over.

In more Rangers team news,  x-rays came back positive for RW Brandon Dubinsky indicating that he in fact had suffered a broken hand that will sideline him for 4 to 6 weeks.   This is disappointing after a lengthy offseason back and forth with Rangers management about contract negotiations.  After a promising start, Dubinsky  will not be able to show he is worth the money he demanded.

Over the next few days, it is imperative that the Rangers take advantage of the elongated time off between games because in the following week, the Rangers starting Saturday play five games in seven nights. Albeit these games are against mediocre teams, playing that amount of hockey in a short period of time can cause trouble.

The Rangers next game is Thursday at the Garden versus the Atlanta Thrashers.  After a disappointing 3-1 loss to Calgary, the Rangers need to turn it around. The Rangers will be able to do this with aggressive play and with the help of the Ranger faithful.

Free Pick: Under 5 1/2 Flames/Canadians


‘A New Look for New York—Fans are ‘Wild’ over Gaborik’

November 4, 2009
Rangers Capitals Hockey

Marian Gaborik

The new look New York Rangers after a major off season revamping are looking like a very promising hockey team.  But as we learned from a season ago, good starts do not equate to Stanley Cups.  After a tremendous start last season, the Rangers were able to squeeze into the playoffs luckily and had a 3-1 series lead before crapping  the proverbial bed, and losing the series to the extremely talented Washington Capitals led by ‘the future’, Alex Ovechkin in 7 games.  This is what separated the two teams and why the Capitals were able to advance while the Rangers were sent home packing.  The Rangers simply lacked a bona fide star.  Yes, Scott Gomez and Nik Antropov are very talented hockey players, and there is no question in my mind that Antropov will be one of the top players in the league in the near future.  Nonetheless, the team lacked a dominate presence that the locker room trusted to run their offense through night in and night out.

Marian Gaborik however is a star and is a game-breaker.  He has 11 goals this season making him 2nd among all NHL players with 6 of these goals coming in the 3rd period.  Gaborik has absolutely blazing speed with phenomenal vision and puck handle.  When the Rangers acquired Gaborik from the Minnesota Wild, no one could have imagined the immediate impact that he has brought each and every night to the ice, and it seems that the 2009-2010 NY Rangers very simply will go only as far as Marian Gaborik can take them.

With the additions of Sean Avery and Donald Brashear, the Rangers in addition once again have a tough and pesky presence which brings back memories of the old Blue shirt brawlers.  If the Rangers are able to dominate the physical game and can be a nuisance to the opposition while creating turnovers, the Rangers will score enough goals per game to propel them into the playoffs once again with a much greater chance to advance farther than season past. 

Henrik Lundqvist right now is not playing his normal lights out hockey, yet the Rangers still are winning convincingly each night.  As the season progresses look for Henrik to be a force in net which will enable the Rangers to go on 4 and 5 game point streaks.  With the additions of the young Canadian Del Zotto, a very talented defenseman who shows poise, skill, and goal scoring capabilities (something which we have not seen since Brian Leetch was in blue), and in seeing the obvious offseason work put in by Callaghan and Dubinsky especially, these strides being made by both management and players of the organization to improve is all a fan can ask for. 

The New York Rangers led by the no nonsense John Tortorella, a coach that players enjoy playing for and want to win for makes the New York Rangers undoubtedly a team that must be reckoned with.