Did anyone else catch the pregame showing of "Behind the Bench with John Tortarella and Mike Keenen"? I didn't get a chance to sit down with it all, since their was pre-game festivities to attend to, but what I did see kind of reinforced some of the concerns I've already expressed about Torts. To clarify, I don't think Torts is a horrible coach, but sometimes I wonder if parts of his strategy, or certain methods, might not be our best options. A few things that stuck out...
1. He gave credit to Shoeny for the PK. Year after year, our PK keeps the fans hearts beating. Betts and Sjostrom were the PK KINGS and there was no way we could lose them. Then, Drury found a place to earn his salary killing PK's and he was the reason our PK was so strong. This season we've been seeing a PK anchored by the likes of pre-season AHL All-Star, Brian Boyle, and, despite a bit of an early season adjustment period, or PK has been AWESOME! Really I think Tom Renney deserves some credit here for laying the PK groundwork (It is Renney's WHEELHOUSE, the PK is played largely in the defensive end) but great work by Shoeny to see what DID WORK from the Renney days, and keep it alive. Combine this with what he did for the defense when Torts took over, and I'm starting to think he belongs behind the bench, and not in the front office.
2. Torts team philosophy, and the lack of tape in it. They even use a sound bite from this in previews for this show. Torts say they don't use alot of tape study on other teams, aside from the other teams PP. This is something I think is WRONG. We all know we have a young team. They can learn the quirks of the opposition, over the course of their career, playing them a few times a year, OR you can have someone edit together film on players tendencies and help our team age before our eyes in 1-on-1 situations. So many of our mistakes seem to come from these types of situations too, it's frustrating to hear Torts can't realize this and embrace technology.
If anyone else caught it, and has something to add, feel free to share. My thoughts are far from a complete recap, but I thought I'd throw out a few ideas to start some discussion, and give a platform to anyone else who caught it and wanted to discuss any of Torts thoughts.
Final thought - since there's no game summary up yet. I expected to see Dubi, Boyle, or both in the shootout. Glad we won, but thought those two could have contributed.