This post is a long reply to Joe Fortunato's post regarding the remainder of the season. A wonderful read Joe, and I thank you for taking the time to post it. I agree that the fire this guy and fire that guy stuff is getting old. Most long time Ranger fans are tired of the status quo, but that is irrelevant right now. The Rangers have done a much better job of keeping prospects, investing in player development and rewarding younger players with ice time.
I will say this though, regarding Tortorella and the teams decision making regarding player movement. The Rangers had an opportunity several weeks ago to cement a playoff berth. The odd thing about that time was that other than a couple of throw away trades, the Rangers did NOTHING in their own system to try to spark the team. Did Tortorella shoot himself in the foot by not benching some of these guys? Why opt for a guy like Boyle or Redden when you have young players itching to make an impact, to show that they can play on the big stage? Lisin gets the bench? I just don't understand the thought process here. Slats himself has stated that he is protecting their young players from trade, so why not give them a shot Slats?
When it comes to Dan Girardi, I feel that his play has suffered because the pairings this season were totally off, and Girardi never really found any chemistry with anyone. There were times when he stepped up, but hockey is a team game, and you need a good partner out there. I wonder how well Girardi could have played with a better, more physical defender on his side.
If the Rangers really want to take a positive step forward NOW, they will do as you outline. Bench guys who are minus players, players who just aren't consistent. Give the time to the kids, put Lisin out there, put Grachev out there. Let's see what they can do. NOW. Next season isn't really that far off, with the draft just a few months away. Let's prepare guys, because I am hopeful that the Rangers keep on track with their young players, and give them an opportunity to show their stuff.