Rangers Analysis: Team Missing Identity at Helm
If you were wondering what the latest "gem" was from John Tortorella this week look no further. Mark Herrmann (filling in for Steve Zipay over at Newsday) reported that Tortorella had this to say the other day:
""The boys are loose," John Tortorella said. "There are breakdowns. Not nearly as many as everybody tends to talk about [with] this club, like we're just a bunch of idiots out there playing."
I think it's about time we call this team what it is: a heartless bunch of spare parts. (There ya go DB, a compromise!) Stating that there are not nearly as many breakdowns "as people tend to talk about," is ridiculous.
No, the team is not a bunch of idiots. Yes, all of them do know how to play hockey; and are eons better than we can ever dream to be (even Wade Redden). But the team doesn't look that way, mainly because of the issues at the helm.
I have truly come to the point where I don't think Tortorella knows what to do with this team. Not that he is a moron who knows nothing about hockey, that's not what I'm saying. What I am saying is that this team has a serious identity crisis that starts at the top (Glen Sather) but trickles down to Tortrella.
Join me after the jump for more.
At first Tortorella demanded effort, and claimed that he would onlygive ice time to those that earn it. But Matt Gilroy (who brings it every night, and does make the occasional mistake) is benched, in favor of a 35 year old veteran who has no future with this team. Why not give Bobby Sanguinetti a look, see if he can bring it on an NHL level for a few games.
But instead you have Redden-a veteran who is worse off defensively than Gilroy-still seeing minutes on the ice. Why not let the youth develop? Why not give the prospects a chance?
Tortorella doesn't seem to know what direction to take this team in. He doesn't seem to know whether or not to give youth a go, or pray that the veterans bounce back. Yeah, Corey Locke made his way up to the NHL level, but why? Everyone seems to be in agreement that he isn't NHL material, so why not give a shot to Dane Byers are Dale Weiss, guys that the Rangers are expecting to contribute in the NHL?
Why not give Artem Anisimovsecond line minutes? He has been playing amazing of late, why not give him a shot? And I know I mentioned Sanguinetti not more than a paragraph ago, but the kid deserves an NHL look.
So again, one can argue that Glen Sather has a hand in these decisions, but don't think that Tortorella doesn't have a say. The team is a mess right now, from top to bottom. They are up-tempo but don't score goals. They rely on power play goals that don't come. And they only expect actual goals from one player on the team.
At least there is one thing we all can agree on, this team doesn't look like a playoff team. Not now, and if they don't fix these problems, not for a long time.