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John Tortorella and the Rangers youth
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03-30-2012, 04:58 PM
Heart and Soul
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Originally Posted by
Change is different from develop. Change is a departure from the past. Development is retaining the same core idea and applying with respect to as new information as it presents itself. Development should always be happening. Change should not. He came in with a struggling team he knew very little about. Since then he's developed the team to fit with a winning philosophy he's been developing to better suit the group. Hard work, accountability, and no bs in any form have all been and still are his guiding principles. Has he changed as a coach? Absolutely not. 53 year old, Stanley cup winning coaches don't change. Nor should they.
Whether coaches should change or not I won't get into, but it is plain as day that not only has Tortorella changed, he has changed on numerous fronts. Whether it is the way he deals with the media, his handling of certain types of player personalities, to his actual on-ice coaching methods and style, particularly from his days since winning the Stanley Cup. Tortorella, to his own admission, has revaluated the manner in which he speaks to the press. Through the events of this season, you can see that he has tried to improve on one of his biggest faults as a coach, his plain old inability to utilize potentially useful players that don't play his way (see Drury, Zherdev, Avery). Otherwise, the likes of Stralman and Zuccarello would never have gotten ice time at all. He's also drastically altered his coaching philosophy in regards to offensive and defensive pressure.
And before you start criticizing other posters for something, recognize and understand what their argument was. Most people here who were not huge fans of the Tortorella hiring initially were not claiming that Tortorella was a bad coach, simply that he was not the right coach for the team as it was constructed at the time. You're right about one thing (just about the only thing): Hard work, accountability, and no bs have and still been at the core of his principles. And what have we learned about those principles? They resulted in diddly squat when the team was low on talent.
He's done a nice job developing some of this team's young players, particularly Del Zotto. What he has done with him is truly great coaching. He seems to have had a nice impact on Girardi, as well But the fact is, there wasn't all that much developing that players like Stepan, McDonagh, or Hagelin had to do. They were far better prepared to play in the NHL than the vast majority of prospects. All three are very, very intelligent players. At the same time, Tortorella has been unable to calibrate Brandon Dubinsky, who is still plagued by the same issues he was before Tortorella got here. That's no more Tortorella's "fault" than Steps, McD, or Hags are his "doing."
Tortorella wasn't the right coach for the Rangers when he was hired, and the results showed it. He preached the same stuff he preaches now, and it got the team right where it had been before him: mediocrity. The success came once the influx of skill, talent, and hockey sense came, in the form of the three aforementioned young players and Brad Richards. This team's strengths are team defense and goaltending. Have you forgotten that those were the team's strengths even before Tortorella got here? The difference between the Rangers today and the Rangers of Tom Renney days is simple: this team actually has some offensive talent, depth, and an absolute all-around stud in Callahan. Renney's teams had no depth and were woefully lacking in offensive ability. That was true of the team when Tortorella took over, and not surprisingly, the results were exactly as they had been under Renney (or, even worse).
I'm more than satisfied with Tortorella and the job he is doing now. He is the right fit for a contending team, and he has helped make this a contending team. But this team would have kept right on plugging along on the bubble, hard work, accountability, no BS, and all if Brad Richards doesn't sign on the line which is dotted last summer.
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