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The Off-Season Thread Part VI - Are we there yet? (Grabovski to Caps, 1 yr)

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Old
08-27-2013, 01:22 PM
  #501
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Originally Posted by Barbara Underhill View Post
You're entitled to your own opinion, just gotta say it's painfully ignorant.

You honestly think the entire roster is comprised of babies who cried to Sather because the big meany yelled at them?
Oy, you couldve saved yourself a lot of time and typing if you hadn't been so ignorant yourself and ran with this notion that I think the entire team is a bunch of pansies. I've said from the beginning I think it was just a handful of players that whined about mistreatment. If you ask me for a list of players who I think would perpetuate this cowardly act, Richards and Kreider would be near the top but Im just speculating.

Nobody knows if they attacked these issues head on with the coach during the season - the type of heroic stuff you mentioned in your non-sequitur story about your boss. The bottom line, for me, is it sure looks like we have a team here who refused to enact a system that worked for them in '11-12 because, well, I dont know what their reasons are which is part of the problem, but it sure looks like it stems from them thinking they're better than they actually are -- thinking that loosening the reigns will let them have fun and be a more successful hockey team. Check back with me in April, because the team will have a chance to back it up. But, right now, the reasoning looks like a crock of ****.

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08-27-2013, 01:48 PM
  #502
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I dunno, BRB. I can't really fault a group of players for not buying into a system that worked for a largely different team the year before. You've said it yourself; There was a ton of roster turnover last summer. The result was a roster that simply didn't fit in with the system that worked for the last group. Torts was berating players on a daily basis for not playing a system that they just weren't suited for. Does that mean there was a team in there that was going to score 4 goals a night? No it doesn't, but there was an awful lot more talent there than he was able to cultivate.

To me, the proof is really in the power play. For all of the "we lack a REAL PPQB" talk we've seen, we were able to ice a unit with quite a bit of talent that was able to do ****-all out there on a nightly basis. A coach is supposed to address weaknesses and put his team in the best position to succeed. Tortorella was unable to do that, all while wearing out his welcome with the players. I understand it was a shortened season, but he still had several months of almost daily practices to figure out a power play that worked and he failed to do it. That's on him.

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08-27-2013, 02:00 PM
  #503
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I just can't fathom how 22 year old rookie Chris Kreider had enough say to get a coach fired. I'm not sure I believe busted up reject 2013 Brad Richards did either

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08-27-2013, 02:04 PM
  #504
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I dunno, BRB. I can't really fault a group of players for not buying into a system that worked for a largely different team the year before. You've said it yourself; There was a ton of roster turnover last summer. The result was a roster that simply didn't fit in with the system that worked for the last group. Torts was berating players on a daily basis for not playing a system that they just weren't suited for. Does that mean there was a team in there that was going to score 4 goals a night? No it doesn't, but there was an awful lot more talent there than he was able to cultivate.

To me, the proof is really in the power play. For all of the "we lack a REAL PPQB" talk we've seen, we were able to ice a unit with quite a bit of talent that was able to do ****-all out there on a nightly basis. A coach is supposed to address weaknesses and put his team in the best position to succeed. Tortorella was unable to do that, all while wearing out his welcome with the players. I understand it was a shortened season, but he still had several months of almost daily practices to figure out a power play that worked and he failed to do it. That's on him.
If you buy into that theory, you buy into the theory that Torts was never going to change. If thats the case, then he had to go and any backstabbing, etc, takes a backseat.

I just dont buy it. The guy played an entirely different type of game in Tampa - he changed to suit the Rangers, and I think hes a bit more flexible than hes given credit for.

Anyway, we'll never know who had the major problems with Tortorella, but thats the main issue for me. Theres likely a couple of guys in the bunch that don't deserve the benefit of the doubt over Tortorella. As a GM, it'd be different hearing it from Lundqvist, Callahan, or Girardi than Richards and Kreider.

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08-27-2013, 02:55 PM
  #505
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Oy, you couldve saved yourself a lot of time and typing if you hadn't been so ignorant yourself and ran with this notion that I think the entire team is a bunch of pansies. I've said from the beginning I think it was just a handful of players that whined about mistreatment. If you ask me for a list of players who I think would perpetuate this cowardly act, Richards and Kreider would be near the top but Im just speculating.

Nobody knows if they attacked these issues head on with the coach during the season - the type of heroic stuff you mentioned in your non-sequitur story about your boss. The bottom line, for me, is it sure looks like we have a team here who refused to enact a system that worked for them in '11-12 because, well, I dont know what their reasons are which is part of the problem, but it sure looks like it stems from them thinking they're better than they actually are -- thinking that loosening the reigns will let them have fun and be a more successful hockey team. Check back with me in April, because the team will have a chance to back it up. But, right now, the reasoning looks like a crock of ****.
I think it's a little over the top to think that Kreider a rookie is making a lot of noise in the locker room. Perhaps but I have doubts. As for Richards showing up out of shape last year is ****ed up. He should at the very least be stripped of his letter. No excuses for him. If it were me he would have been bought the **** out. He should be ashamed for coming into the season not ready.

Torts did a great job in 11-12. That team lost a lot of depth starting off last year. Even so this is a dead subject. Torts constantly clashing with the media for me is a sign that he was having problems. He got cut loose. I don't think the step back last year was all on him though--I think the team we started last season with was a step back to begin with and that had a lot more to do with the GM. As far as I'm concerned both Sather and Torts would dump all the blame over each other. One simply had more power than the other. Now that we have AV--we'll see how that works out. At least we don't seem to have the same depth problems as we experienced last year. The one area where I think some people are a bit off is in when some think this means a lot more offense.

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08-27-2013, 02:56 PM
  #506
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I would find it hard to believe that Kreider, who saw limited ice time @ BC and chose to go back, would complain about a coach giving him limited ice time as a rookie in the NHL. I just don't see it.

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08-27-2013, 03:01 PM
  #507
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
If you buy into that theory, you buy into the theory that Torts was never going to change. If thats the case, then he had to go and any backstabbing, etc, takes a backseat.

I just dont buy it. The guy played an entirely different type of game in Tampa - he changed to suit the Rangers, and I think hes a bit more flexible than hes given credit for.

Anyway, we'll never know who had the major problems with Tortorella, but thats the main issue for me. Theres likely a couple of guys in the bunch that don't deserve the benefit of the doubt over Tortorella. As a GM, it'd be different hearing it from Lundqvist, Callahan, or Girardi than Richards and Kreider.
I disagree. Saying "he refused to change" isn't synonymous with "he's never going to change". He could very well have planned to overhaul the system this summer with Sullivan and try it in the fall. His failure was waiting when what he was doing was clearly not working, and towards the end of the season, was obviously falling on deaf ears. As they say, timing is everything, and in this case it is 100% true.

The system relied on people to work hard. When it works, it's great and people feel like real "blue collar" guys who are giving it all for the team. If the system is failing, it implies to the people within that they aren't working hard enough and that can have catastrophic effects on people's psyche. I think a lot of players broke this year, and the leaders, whoever they may be, stepped up and brought that to Sather's attention. I don't think they walked in and said "Fire this guy," but I think there may have been a few that said, "Look, if this continues, we may not stick it out for the long haul." If that's the case, you'd have to think that Cally, Girardi and Hank as pending UFA's may have been involved. All speculation at this point, but it's fishy none the less.

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08-27-2013, 03:01 PM
  #508
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I think it's a little over the top to think that Kreider a rookie is making a lot of noise in the locker room. Perhaps but I have doubts. As for Richards showing up out of shape last year is ****ed up. He should at the very least be stripped of his letter. No excuses for him. If it were me he would have been bought the **** out. He should be ashamed for coming into the season not ready.

Torts did a great job in 11-12. That team lost a lot of depth starting off last year. Even so this is a dead subject. Torts constantly clashing with the media for me is a sign that he was having problems. He got cut loose. I don't think the step back last year was all on him though--I think the team we started last season with was a step back to begin with and that had a lot more to do with the GM. As far as I'm concerned both Sather and Torts would dump all the blame over each other. One simply had more power than the other. Now that we have AV--we'll see how that works out. At least we don't seem to have the same depth problems as we experienced last year. The one area where I think some people are a bit off is in when some think this means a lot more offense.
Fair enough. Im all for seeing how things shake out, but if I were a betting man, I'd say the crosshairs will find their way to Vigneault's back soon enough. We've seen this movie before.

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08-27-2013, 03:03 PM
  #509
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Asham says he enjoyed 'Torts', but says some of the players were getting fed up with his act.

"He's very intense and he wants to get the most out of his players," said Asham. "He does a decent job of doing that, but when you're in the same spot for a certain amount of years and you have the same players, the guys seem to get fed up with all the screaming and stuff.

"Having a new face coming in and having a little more fun will be good. It was pretty intense in the dressing room, guys were a little uptight, but now we have a new guy and we can start laughing and having some fun.
http://www.torontosun.com/2013/07/18...ortorellas-act

Its not hard to look at the roster and find the players who have been here for a while.

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08-27-2013, 03:09 PM
  #510
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Tortorella is bringing the same system to Vancouver

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How many shots will the Sedin twins block? -- One of the things Tortorella will ask the Sedins to do is block shots. Last season Henrik blocked nine, while Daniel blocked seven.

"I'll tell you right now, they're going to kill penalties, and if they're going to kill penalties they're going to block shots," Tortorella said. "Do I expect to turn them into an ex-player of mine, a Ryan Callahan (66 blocked shots last season)? Absolutely not. But if you're going to play proper defense, that has to be part of the equation."

As a team, the Canucks blocked 566 shots, ranking them 27th in the NHL; the Rangers were sixth with 773 blocks.

"I think shot blocking is part of playing good defense," Tortorella said. "I think it's part of play to get the puck back. So it's not just the Sedins. I think a team takes on a whole mindset of being a harder team to play against, a team that'll play along the boards, a team that'll give themselves up to get the puck back, defend the proper way. It does, it permeates through your team.

"So that is going to be asked, of not just the Sedins, but everybody, because I think that's the proper way to play the game when you don't have the puck."
http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=679528

Tortorella is bringing Rangers grind it out and stone-age hockey to Vancouver. He isn't bringing back safe is death from TB days.

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08-27-2013, 03:13 PM
  #511
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Coaches and managers are hired to be fired. Tortorella was here for 3 full seasons and the 48 lockout season plus coached the last two months of the 08-09 season. Its the nature of pro sports.

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08-27-2013, 03:19 PM
  #512
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I dunno, BRB. I can't really fault a group of players for not buying into a system that worked for a largely different team the year before. You've said it yourself; There was a ton of roster turnover last summer. The result was a roster that simply didn't fit in with the system that worked for the last group. Torts was berating players on a daily basis for not playing a system that they just weren't suited for. Does that mean there was a team in there that was going to score 4 goals a night? No it doesn't, but there was an awful lot more talent there than he was able to cultivate.

To me, the proof is really in the power play. For all of the "we lack a REAL PPQB" talk we've seen, we were able to ice a unit with quite a bit of talent that was able to do ****-all out there on a nightly basis. A coach is supposed to address weaknesses and put his team in the best position to succeed. Tortorella was unable to do that, all while wearing out his welcome with the players. I understand it was a shortened season, but he still had several months of almost daily practices to figure out a power play that worked and he failed to do it. That's on him.
Well said.
And being kind to overlook the season, this crazy system could only fail with implosion during playoffs, forcing even very well conditioned athletes into total exhaustion.

The regular season is worth discussing, but it is moot if you can't prevail in the playoffs.

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08-27-2013, 03:28 PM
  #513
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I just can't fathom how 22 year old rookie Chris Kreider had enough say to get a coach fired. I'm not sure I believe busted up reject 2013 Brad Richards did either
CK is a premium blue chip prospect, with tons of potential.
He was totally misused.

When the front office makes a decision because the team is so inept in scoring it has to burn a year of this guy's ELC just to hope we can score in the playoffs, that is a serious freakin investment.

The least Torts could have done was give this guy ample chance to succeed by having comfort he could fail here at least up to a point, if he was showing steady improvement. And do this without getting in his head, in as much as CK was in any event able to make the lower 6 of this squad at any time. Instead, Torts got into Kreider's head, exacerbating the situation.

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08-27-2013, 03:31 PM
  #514
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
Oy, you couldve saved yourself a lot of time and typing if you hadn't been so ignorant yourself and ran with this notion that I think the entire team is a bunch of pansies. I've said from the beginning I think it was just a handful of players that whined about mistreatment. If you ask me for a list of players who I think would perpetuate this cowardly act, Richards and Kreider would be near the top but Im just speculating.

Nobody knows if they attacked these issues head on with the coach during the season - the type of heroic stuff you mentioned in your non-sequitur story about your boss. The bottom line, for me, is it sure looks like we have a team here who refused to enact a system that worked for them in '11-12 because, well, I dont know what their reasons are which is part of the problem, but it sure looks like it stems from them thinking they're better than they actually are -- thinking that loosening the reigns will let them have fun and be a more successful hockey team. Check back with me in April, because the team will have a chance to back it up. But, right now, the reasoning looks like a crock of ****.
I was being a bit dramatic, you're right you haven't blamed the entire team but it sure feels like you're willing to lump everyone up into one category from Sather all the way down to the ice crew. Yet you refuse to acknowledge that Torts was a part of the problem.

I highly doubt that Kreider had any say in whether the coach stay or go, which points to your inability or complete refusal whichever it is, to accept that Torts isn't a saint and that his approach isn't the gospel for success in the NHL. It's simply not sustainable, look at Keenan, he barely lasted the entire '94 season and if Smith had his way he at times he probably would have canned him. But he sucked it up for that season and it paid out big for the organization. It needs to be an almost perfect storm for that approach to work the majority of the time, otherwise you have teams that tune out coaches.

They are professional athletes and they get paid to play a game any one of us would play for free, so I don't have a ton of sympathy for them if their boss is a dick and makes them work hard. However, I also don't have any sympathy for said dick when people get tired of his act and he is cut loose.

It wasn't the Krieder's, Hagelin's or Nash's that ended up not wanting to deal with him anymore, it was the guys who have been here the entirety of his tenure. He got them close in '11-'12 but that's as close as they were going to get with him at the helm, because after dealing with him for three years and making countless sacrifices and laying it all out there what do they have to show for it?

BTW, I wasn't being heroic, it was just an example of a ****** boss. I didn't want to use it, but it fit well with what I was trying to portray.

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08-27-2013, 03:32 PM
  #515
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Fair enough. Im all for seeing how things shake out, but if I were a betting man, I'd say the crosshairs will find their way to Vigneault's back soon enough. We've seen this movie before.
You're really going out on a limb with that prediction. All coaches have a shelf life, even the great ones. Torts' is shorter than most of his calibre. I can't believe this is still being bandied about.

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08-27-2013, 03:33 PM
  #516
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CK is a premium blue chip prospect, with tons of potential.
He was totally misused.

When the front office makes a decision because the team is so inept in scoring it has to burn a year of this guy's ELC just to hope we can score in the playoffs, that is a serious freakin investment.

The least Torts could have done was give this guy ample chance to succeed by having comfort he could fail here at least up to a point, if he was showing steady improvement. And do this without getting in his head, in as much as CK was in any event able to make the lower 6 of this squad at any time. Instead, Torts got into Kreider's head, exacerbating the situation.

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Yea, thats it.

I definitely would have preferred that the coach reward a kid who played like a bum all season with more ice-time in a lockout-shortened season.

We can debate the Tortorella firing all day - theres plenty of good points on both sides. The argument about Kreider being misused is a ****** one. He played like a dog and any coach with a mandate to make the playoffs would have limited him in a 48 game season

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08-27-2013, 03:46 PM
  #517
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lulz @ collapsing, shot-blocking hockey being "stone-age". It's very much a new creation. Any blocked shots in old-time hockey were by accident.

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08-27-2013, 03:51 PM
  #518
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the one thing that really pissed me off about how Torts handled Kreider was during that stretch of games from March I believe, Kreider was on fire in CT scoring a goal every other game. Torts called him up, and threw him in the bottom 6. I didn't understand that. Shoulda just left him down there to finish the season.

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08-27-2013, 03:55 PM
  #519
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the one thing that really pissed me off about how Torts handled Kreider was during that stretch of games from March I believe, Kreider was on fire in CT scoring a goal every other game. Torts called him up, and threw him in the bottom 6. I didn't understand that. Shoulda just left him down there to finish the season.
Damned if you do...

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08-27-2013, 03:56 PM
  #520
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You're really going out on a limb with that prediction. All coaches have a shelf life, even the great ones. Torts' is shorter than most of his calibre. I can't believe this is still being bandied about.
This sort of thing has been used as a sideshow for too long, specifically as a distraction to admit the shortcomings of certain players and the roster construction in general. Im not looking at the Tortorella situation in a vacuum. Im looking at the GM's long track record of failure and scapegoating coaches.

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08-27-2013, 04:06 PM
  #521
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I can't really fault a group of players for not buying into a system that worked for a largely different team the year before.
Not to beat a dead horse, but you can also question just how well it worked.

We got a lot pts all year, we PK well and gave up a little. We had depth so that we could keep going all the way into the wall and we won a ton of pts in diffrent ways by being able to keep it up the last 10 minutes.

We looked really horrible the first 15-20 games. Hank really saved us, but there where a -- ton -- of games where we were outshot 20-40 but still won etc.

We were not good at all the last month of the season or so.

Ottawa was not a strong team, and they took us to 7. We deserved to win, yes, but we couldn't put them away. The Caps were just as good as us, and that series could have gone other way. NJD just had our numbers. They were better than us by quite some margin.

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08-27-2013, 04:09 PM
  #522
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Leaving aside the specifics of the blow-by-blow that led to his firing (which none of us will ever know), how many coaches that employ Torts' assclown screaming style last as LONG as four seasons? That childish idiocy always burns out after a couple of seasons.

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08-27-2013, 04:14 PM
  #523
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lulz @ collapsing, shot-blocking hockey being "stone-age". It's very much a new creation. Any blocked shots in old-time hockey were by accident.
Fair point, I am not sure where to stand on this issue. The talk about how it hurt us offensively to give up the points when playing defense. Is that really the case? Maybe we were too extreme, but in general that is the best modern way to play defense today. I don't think you loose much offense. Maybe we over did it, maybe we did not.

We were extremely stone ages in our transition game under Torts. No creative play whatsoever before we got below the hash marks (unles we like picked a puck of a D and got a odd man rush from the get go). It was among the worst seen in the game. As Mattias Norstrom put it commenting a game for Swedish TV: "I've never seen a team as afraid of passing the puck as NYR". He played his entire career during the trapping era.

But was our defense really a problem? Nah. We have all the room in the world to improve our offense with the puck. Maybe marginal improvements can be made by not collapsing too low. But that is marginal.

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08-27-2013, 04:45 PM
  #524
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the one thing that really pissed me off about how Torts handled Kreider was during that stretch of games from March I believe, Kreider was on fire in CT scoring a goal every other game. Torts called him up, and threw him in the bottom 6. I didn't understand that. Shoulda just left him down there to finish the season.
To me that was a clear case of management saying "hes ready" and Torts saying "he's not, and you can't force me to play him". Which honestly I don't think is unfair of Torts. It was also a product of having 0 NHL depth. It's not like Torts just changed his mind about calling up Kreider while he was on the bus from Hartford.

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08-27-2013, 04:48 PM
  #525
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Fair point, I am not sure where to stand on this issue. The talk about how it hurt us offensively to give up the points when playing defense. Is that really the case? Maybe we were too extreme, but in general that is the best modern way to play defense today. I don't think you loose much offense. Maybe we over did it, maybe we did not.

We were extremely stone ages in our transition game under Torts. No creative play whatsoever before we got below the hash marks (unles we like picked a puck of a D and got a odd man rush from the get go). It was among the worst seen in the game. As Mattias Norstrom put it commenting a game for Swedish TV: "I've never seen a team as afraid of passing the puck as NYR". He played his entire career during the trapping era.

But was our defense really a problem? Nah. We have all the room in the world to improve our offense with the puck. Maybe marginal improvements can be made by not collapsing too low. But that is marginal.
This is spot on and one of the fairest assessments I've seen.

HatTrick Swayze is offline  
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