Are the Rangers too soft?
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02-25-2013, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
The New York Rangers aren’t a disaster.
They’re 8-7-2, sitting one point out of the No. 8 seed with a game in-hand over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Their goal differential is a minus-3. If there’s a major point of concern, it’s the offense: Their 41 goals puts them No. 25 in the NHL, while their 3.35 goals per game average is 23rd in the League.
But there’s a sense that this team has dramatically underachieved, based on last season’s 109-point pace and appearance in the Eastern Conference Final, as well as its addition of Rick Nash to an all-star roster.
What’s wrong with the Rangers?
We asked Rangers bloggers Scotty Hockey; Kevin DeLury of NY Rangers Blog; and Patrick Hoffman of Goal Line Report to give us their take on the Blueshirts, and what’s gone right and wrong in 2013. Enjoy …
This leads us to the team’s next problem and that is offense. For the offensive talent that the Blueshirts have in guys like Marian Gaborik, Rick Nash, Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan, Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan, the team certainly does not score a lot of goals (24th in the league).
While it is easy to place the blame on the forwards themselves, most of the blame should be put on team head coach John Tortorella. While it is great to play defensive hockey and win a bunch of games by one and two-goals, this kind of systems simply does not work for offensive players.
3. Where is your confidence level with both John Tortorella and Glen Sather?
SCOTTY HOCKEY: I have no confidence in Tortorella but, to be honest, I haven't had that since he tanked the team with his antics during the Caps series in 2009. He is still coaching this team like it is pre2004-05 lockout, over-relying on a select few players. It worked back then because the grab-and-hold hockey allowed players to conserve some energy but now, he's just wearing guys into the ground (see 2012 playoffs: Girardi, Dan and McDonagh, Ryan). And that is not to mention his acerbic, unprofessional attitude or his recent propensity for putting too many men on the ice ...
This year, however, Tortorella is faced with a real challenge as the personnel doesn’t seem to fit his game plan. Where players bought in last year, they seem less willing to do so this year. So now he has to decide if he wants to change from a defensive system to a more wide open style to accommodate the skill of Nash which the team has alarmingly become dependent on as evidenced by the one goal by a forward in the three games since he went down with an injury.
In the end, I have the confidence that Tortorella sticks with what worked so well last year and the players buy back in. Since the Montreal game Saturday night, the Rangers’ toughness has been questioned in every corner of the hockey world and you can be assured that Tortorella will use it as a rallying cry the same way he did when Joe Thornton called his team soft last year.
HOFFMAN: While it is great to see that John Tortorella’s defensive style of hockey works to a ‘T, it is not a good thing that it comes with the sacrificing of offense.
There is no doubt that good defense is important when it comes to winning hockey but that cannot come at the expense of putting the puck in the net. Players like Marian Gaborik, Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin need to be given more free reign when it comes to generating offense.
If Tortorella can change his system a bit and get the team’s offense clicking, my confidence in him will be a lot higher. With that said, Tortorealla is still the right coach for this team and he just needs to change things around a bit.
Most agree that this personnel doesnt fit Tort's system and that the loss of Dubi, Prust, Arty, Feds, etc. hurt more than most thought, but Callahan our best player and Asham most disappointing? Really? Not even close.
Last edited by Heyoooo*: 02-25-2013 at
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