So they finally won. It had to happen eventually. And although the victory (a victory that might have saved Glen Sather’s job—although I doubt it) was impressive and the opponent was hated in the end what does it prove?
A win against the Islanders should not be exciting it should be expected. Scoring more than two goals in a game should not be unusual it should be just another day at the office. And finally playing a game that doesn’t make your fans want to puke should be the norm, not unexpected.
Look, we have danced this dance before. The Rangers take you out to eat, show you a good time, buy you flowers and make you feel special. They show you how good they can treat you, how they have everything you want, and how if you just stay patient they will give it to you. But when it comes time to take the next step in the relationship they become distant, turn into another person, don’t answer your calls, and eventually you end up resenting them. Until they finally call you back, and then the cycle starts again.
Last night’s win—albeit an impressive one—means nothing unless they can build on it. Fortunately for the Rangers, there is no better time than now to do just that. Their next five games include one more against the Islanders, two again the Flyers and one against the Hurricanes. I have no problem in saying that I fully expect the Rangers to win all five of those games. The time for excuses is over, and if John Tortorella was really serious about making changes then it started yesterday.
Keep Wade Redden and Ales Kotalik out of the line-up. No, Redden doesn’t deserve to be benched; but Michael Rozsival played a pretty good game yesterday. Maybe he knows that this is his last chance to see some serious ice time, or maybe was just lucky. Either way I don’t want to see either of them in the line-up until they replace someone who isn’t working.
Join me after the jump for what Gross had to say.
Regardless the Rangers need to start winning games, and there is no better time to do it than in this next stretch of games. Let’s hope that Tortorella is keen on keeping this up, and as per Andrew Gross he is. Here are the highlights from his full story:
As if John Tortorella hasn’t put his team on notice already by benching veterans Wade Redden and Ales Kotalik, he upped the ante today by declaring there will be no more sense of entitlement around the team and that his coaching staff and general manager Glen Sather will no longer continue to play underachieving veterans, preferring, instead, to go through "bumps in the road" from young players, possibly players who will soon be called up from Hartford (AHL).
"This isn’t to make an example out of Wade Redden, Wade Redden hasn’t played well enough to be in the lineup," Tortorella said. "I’m not interested in making examples out of people. A coach’s responsibility is to put the best lineup on the ice. I felt I did that last night. It will be the same lineup going into Philly (tomorrow afternoon). For 25-30 games we tried to stay with him, we tried to bring confidence in with him and go about it that way and it hasn’t worked. It’s still trying to gain confidence but there’s going to be no entitlement around here. I think it kind of stinks of that around here. We’ve got kids and this coaching staff and manager want to infuse some kids into our lineup becase we feel that’s going to be the best way to build it. We’ll go through some bumps in the road with kids but not with underachieving veterans. I just don’t but it and it’s not going to work that way."
Well some of you have been screaming for some AHL injection, you might see it soon. Good to see that Glen Sather is on board with this--maybe Dolan is putting the squeeze on Sather finally. Let's hope that its true. Let's hope that change is in the air. Hell let's just hope that we actually see some change.