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03-11-2011, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by The Hockey Suit View Post
Back in September almost every news outlet in North America picked the Rangers to finish in the cellar of the Eastern Conference. The few that believed the Rangers were worthy of a post-season berth, attributed such prophecies to the health and performance of Marian Gaborik.

Fast-forward to present tense and the Rangers have stayed afloat despite Gaborik’s mediocre season, as well an extraordinary amount of man games lost to injury. No one would have guessed that Tortorella could get this sort of output from this team with the setbacks that have been dealt.

Despite an injury bug that has eradicated the Rangers roster, Torts has actually managed to increase our offense. To date, the Rangers have scored 2.74 goals per game, which is up from last year’s 2.6 G/G and way up from Renney’s final stand, which saw only 2.4 goals per game. Impressively, Torts has gotten this output without sacrificing defense. Right now the Rangers have a +29 goal differential, which is the highest it has been in five years.

All nerdy stats aside, the most important thing he and Sully have done this year is move this team in the right direction. Brandon Dubinksy, Ryan Callahan, Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle, Dan Girardi, Brandon Prust, and Marc Staal have all improved under his tutelage. On top of that, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello, Michael Sauer, and Ryan McDonagh have all had impressive rookie seasons. This is not by accident.

All of which brings me to the Jack Adams Award, which is awarded to the coach "adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success." Now I am not naïve enough to believe that this award will be given to a coach whose team misses the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean one can’t be nominated. Matter of fact, if the Rangers and Devils miss the playoffs, I still think both Torts and Lemaire should be finalists.

As for who should win…that I will let play itself out over the next few months. No matter how things shake out though, John Tortorella at least deserves to be in the conversation.
Add another from me.

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