This post was pretty much inspired by reading Hoggo's 30 thoughts, I was making a really long comment, and it just turned into it's own kind of topic I guess you could say, so I'm making it a fanpost, DEAL WITH IT. haha. And sorry for some of the expletives, I was still upset at some of the things when I was writing about them haha.
Now listen, I love Torts as our coach, I really do. He gets this team ready and he makes sure they know what their job is and what they have to do. He's a very good coach, that being said, he has his flaws, oh boy he does. Like Hoggo said in his post, as well as many others including me saying it throughout the year, he plays favorites. A COACH OF A TEAM CANNOT PLAY FAVORITES. That just doesn't make sense. He isn't a very good in-game coach, failing to make adjustments and trusting the same thing he has been going with. You could see in the Devils series that there we absolutely no adjustments made on the way the team was playing, even though the Devils were controlling most of the play for the series. It just gets me mad thinking that our playoff lines could've been better, which would've been a big upgrade, sure the difference of the players might not be that big, but over an NHL season and throughout the playoffs, every little player and detail counts. Offensively and defensively.
But no, instead we have Rupp, who can't skate, horrible defense, drives no offense, but he can fight and has some love potion on Tortorella. Not only that, this year we also have Asham, who can't skate, horrible defense, drives no offense, but he can fight. I'm sure he's currently creating a love potion for Torts. Sounds like the same exact player. FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wellman-Halpern-Wiese sounds like a great 4th line for today's NHL. They all can skate, Wellman has more of the offensive upside, Halpern wins faceoffs, plays very good D, and is the seasoned vet, while Wiese is the younger, scrappy kid who can hit, fight, forecheck, play tough, and chip in some offense. Ugh, we could have had so many better 4th line options. Rupp and Asham on the same line is so fucking embarrassing.
Don't even get me on Zuccarello, the days of that series against the Devils I was hoping for him in the lineup the entire time. I know throwing him back into the fire after a broken wrist would be tough, but it would've been much better than Rupp playing. Zucc could've played limited 3rd line minutes while helping out on the PP a lot, the guy is one of the best passers we've had, but once again, Tortorella just sees a player who can't hit or play great defense, even though he can absolutely be utilized in certain roles.
Then of course, there is the love he has for Stu Bickel. I don't mind Bickel playing a game every now and then, but he shouldn't be playing in the fucking playoffs. He is not an NHL defenseman. I don't understand why Torts trusted a horrible skating, fighting, rookie defenseman more than someone like Steve Eminger or Jeff Woywitka. Yeah, those other 2 aren't great either, but here's one thing, they both have a ridiculous amount of NHL experience over Bickel. Not only that, they are much better skaters, and here's another, they are just overall better players! Eminger was coming back from that shoulder injury, okay, but he's still a much better option for a 6th Dman! Same thing with Woywitka, I would've trusted Eminger and Woy with 7+ minutes more than I would trust Bickel with 4.
I love this team, but I hate some of the small boneheaded decisions Torts makes! All those little decisions can add up! If Torts wasn't so stubborn and only played favorites on players just based on their play, then I guarantee you Avery and Zuccarello play on the teams 4th and 3rd lines. While I know some people absolutely love Avery and some are tired of hearing about those fans talk about Avery, you cannot say he wasn't a better option than Rupp. Avery is a great forechecker, a very good skater, sound defensively, and would've been a great 4th liner for the team in limited playoff minutes. I know I'm just basically nitpicking, but it really is how I feel and I feel like a few of those players could've changed the way the series turned out. You never know, Bickel would never be on the ice for game 5, and maybe Eminger or Woywitka stays in position on the 1st goal. Or Rupp is never on the ice for the 1st goal in game 6 (possibly the worst backchecking effort I've ever seen for an elimination playoff game). Regardless, these are the lines that I wanted and hoped for in playoffs.
HS: Avery, realized there wasn't much of a roster for him after Hags and Kreider created their roster spots, regardless. Injuries happen and I think he would practically be interchangeable with Prust.
Well, I think that's all I really have to say for now regarding Torts on some of the moves of the past few months. Hopefully this can start a nice debate, I very much welcome opposing opinions, so don't hold back! Just don't be a d-bag about it haha. And also, PLEASE AGREE TO A NEW CBA AND NO LOCKOUT PLEASE ='(