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How Many Players Now Regret the Tortorella Firing?

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Old
12-03-2013, 05:36 PM
  #426
Richter Scale
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Originally Posted by GordonGecko View Post
haha yeah sorry I was editing that post back and forth I screwed up

Look, I know where you're coming from. The work ethic on the part of the team a couple of years back was very good, but they were stuck on offense.
Hate to break it to you, but that area hasn't improved so far. And at the same time, the defense/goaltending has gotten worse. I hope both of these things improve, but I'm not seeing many things in this team that indicate they will.

So far the offense is significantly worse than it has been on average over the past 4 seasons and the defense is the worst it has been since 09-10.

Average goals for and against per game by year:

2013-14: GF - 2.21; GA - 2.54
2012-13: GF - 2.71; GA - 2.33
2011-12: GF - 2.76; GA - 2.28
2010-11: GF - 2.84; GA - 2.41
2009-10: GF - 2.71; GA - 2.66


The fire Torts bandwagon said, "Who cares if we let up a few more goals?" -- because, of course, the offensive flood gates would open without such a "restrictive system." But even if they didn't, it would be ok because Hank would be able to handle more quality chances against; after all, he is the King! This was just naive. I'm not trying to bash Hank, but if you didn't think he would give up more goals if he saw more quality chances against him, you were just living in some sort of fantasy land. Not to mention that this team, as currently constructed, doesn't have the offensive talent to play a skill game and make up for any defensive lapses.


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Originally Posted by GordonGecko View Post
The Rangers had to do something, grinders can only get you so far.

What else should the Rangers have done?
"Grinders" seem to have been working just fine for Boston over the past several seasons. I'm not saying that NYR should become a Boston clone, but this is the crap that pisses me off so much about the Tortorella debate. No where in the equation did anyone consider that defense was an important part of a team's success.

I think the problem from too many fans' perspectives is that good defense is very difficult to actually recognize when you see it. And it is even harder still to appreciate or enjoy. It isn't the "fun" stuff. But seeing those goals pile up is fun. Problem is this team wasn't - and still isn't - built to play a skilled game.

So you can keep complaining about the "grinders" all you want. But that was a part of what helped that 11-12 team succeed. The fans waving the pitch forks to fire Torts ignored - or never learned - the lessons of the dark years that they JUST ****ing went through (assuming they were either old enough to live through it or not a recent bandwagoner). Those dark years teams were a different combination of free agent "all star" forwards each year, awful defensively, didn't compete, and didn't have a team concept. The Nash trade moved this team back toward the "all-star" misfits, and away from a team concept that was working for once. Firing Torts killed not only that team concept, but seems to have also put a pretty big dent in the team's defense.

--

Just about every single defenseman, except for Anton Stralman, has looked consistently significantly worse this year than at any time in the past couple seasons while Tortorella was coach. I have not seen more than a handful of games where I saw the forwards playing a consistently solid, defensively responsible game.

Two examples:

Stepan's defensive game - compared to the past two years when I thought, by comparison, he was much more consistently stellar on that side of the puck - has looked abysmal far too much this season for my liking.

McDonagh has been driving me absolutely batty this year. I love the offense he has been adding to his game; but at the same time, he has been making a **** ton more positional mistakes than I grew used to from him over the past couple years. Yes, some of that comes with the territory of playing more aggressive -- but I'm also seeing far too many situations in which he has no chance to make a play or be aggressive/offensive, and is getting caught with the opposing forwards behind him. And I'm not talking about pinching - this is happening at his own defensive blue line and in his own zone. I'm hoping it is just an adjustment period he is going through to a new system or style of play. But so far I am unimpressed.


Those are two guys who I used to see on the ice and feel relatively comfortable about the team's defense. Now, I see them out there, and I'm just hoping for no defensive lapses. This is not a new development I'm happy with.


Last edited by Richter Scale: 12-03-2013 at 05:57 PM.
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12-03-2013, 05:40 PM
  #427
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There are concerns with the effort level with a bunch of guys on the roster, and a coaching staff that isn't getting the most out of their roster. Flawed as it is, a 4 game winning streak puts you in solid footing in the Metro division.

Sadly the Rangers have too many players being metro on the ice, if not taking a step further, and totally keeling over in games where they feel physically overwhelmed.

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12-03-2013, 05:45 PM
  #428
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Originally Posted by GordonGecko View Post
But even going back to Richards signing, who knew he would turn out to be such a dud? Nash isn't a dud but he hasn't quite produced like everyone expected. Who could have predicted that. Even if the whole roster is a bunch of great guys but can't get to the next level, what's the point.
Uh what? Nash's production with NYR, excepting the playoffs, surpassed his last three seasons with CBJ. He has been just about a point per game player, which he hasn't done since 2008-09. If you expected him to be more than that, then you were living in some sort of dreamland.

Either way though - this misses the point. The Rangers went after star players during the dark years too. Those teams had Theo Fleury, Eric Lindros, Pavel Bure, and Bobby Holik (wouldn't count him as an all-star, but he was sure being paid like it). You need top flight talent to be competitive, but that talent also has to fit into a team.

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12-03-2013, 06:39 PM
  #429
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Originally Posted by Glen Sathers Cigar View Post
I agree. Torts was the scapegoat, when honestly, they didn't need a scapegoat. It was a lockout shortened season and they made it to the second round and lost to superior opponent. They came back from being down 3-2 in the 1st round and rallied to win the series in 7. That's a positive.

I was always of the opinion that Torts deserved AT LEAST one more season, since last season was such a weird one.
One might reasonably ask how that would have hurt Kreider and Zuke...who appear to have been the biggest beneficiaries of the coaching change. As for who misses Torts, I will probably say: Del Zotto.

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12-03-2013, 07:05 PM
  #430
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So much on this thread to respond to right now. I wish I was on my computer and not my phone

As seems to happen a lot, a comment someone doesn't agree with becomes hyperbolized. No one ever said that this team is harder working than Tortorellas and no one ever said that Tortorellas teams weren't hard working. What was said is that Tortorellas teams work ethic consistency has been questioned. Personally, people chalk losses up to work ethic issues far, far, far too often. In anything involving performance, some nights are better than others. That can go for individuals or for teams. More often than not, talent level or that particular nights performance dictates success or failure for a team. It's almost never work ethic. That goes for all NHL teams. Work ethic is simply a cop out analysis.

People who expected a lot of offense out of AVs style were fooling themselves. I said it in the summer and I'm saying it now. What we need out of AVs system is the ability to maintain our level of offense in the playoffs. That's all it's about. We've had struggles early this season, but if we make the playoffs, we should be able to maintain our style of play and have some success at it. Not saying we will win more than Tortorella or even win one round. That's more of a roster problem. As far as coaching goes, to me AV is a better fit for playoff performance.

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12-03-2013, 07:15 PM
  #431
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Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
So much on this thread to respond to right now. I wish I was on my computer and not my phone

As seems to happen a lot, a comment someone doesn't agree with becomes hyperbolized. No one ever said that this team is harder working than Tortorellas and no one ever said that Tortorellas teams weren't hard working. What was said is that Tortorellas teams work ethic consistency has been questioned. Personally, people chalk losses up to work ethic issues far, far, far too often. In anything involving performance, some nights are better than others. That can go for individuals or for teams. More often than not, talent level or that particular nights performance dictates success or failure for a team. It's almost never work ethic. That goes for all NHL teams. Work ethic is simply a cop out analysis.

People who expected a lot of offense out of AVs style were fooling themselves. I said it in the summer and I'm saying it now. What we need out of AVs system is the ability to maintain our level of offense in the playoffs. That's all it's about. We've had struggles early this season, but if we make the playoffs, we should be able to maintain our style of play and have some success at it. Not saying we will win more than Tortorella or even win one round. That's more of a roster problem. As far as coaching goes, to me AV is a better fit for playoff performance.
Great post. Agreed 100%, especially the part about work ethic. The scoring issues with this team lie in it's lack of talent, plain and simple.

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12-03-2013, 07:53 PM
  #432
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Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
Uh what? Nash's production with NYR, excepting the playoffs, surpassed his last three seasons with CBJ. He has been just about a point per game player, which he hasn't done since 2008-09. If you expected him to be more than that, then you were living in some sort of dreamland.

Either way though - this misses the point. The Rangers went after star players during the dark years too. Those teams had Theo Fleury, Eric Lindros, Pavel Bure, and Bobby Holik (wouldn't count him as an all-star, but he was sure being paid like it). You need top flight talent to be competitive, but that talent also has to fit into a [I]team[/I].
While I'm not complaining about the point totals for Nash--he clearly has no trouble scoring--he's been much less of an impact player than I had hoped and I'm pretty sure Sather had expected. The organization just doesn't have a player who can take over a game and change the outcome on a regular basis. Without that, it becomes a grinding game where the effort has to be there every single shift. That's not happening and I'm not sure that this group (and this coach) are capable of that kind of blue collar effort.

As for your last point--Sather has been incapable of building a true team since he got here. He does't have the ability to allow an indentity to grow and gell without making changes. Until someone above him realizes that the game has changed since the 1980s, I have my doubts that we will see anything different.

Rinse Sather Repeat.

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12-04-2013, 08:25 AM
  #433
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Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
So much on this thread to respond to right now. I wish I was on my computer and not my phone

As seems to happen a lot, a comment someone doesn't agree with becomes hyperbolized. No one ever said that this team is harder working than Tortorellas and no one ever said that Tortorellas teams weren't hard working. What was said is that Tortorellas teams work ethic consistency has been questioned. Personally, people chalk losses up to work ethic issues far, far, far too often. In anything involving performance, some nights are better than others. That can go for individuals or for teams. More often than not, talent level or that particular nights performance dictates success or failure for a team. It's almost never work ethic. That goes for all NHL teams. Work ethic is simply a cop out analysis.

People who expected a lot of offense out of AVs style were fooling themselves. I said it in the summer and I'm saying it now. What we need out of AVs system is the ability to maintain our level of offense in the playoffs. That's all it's about. We've had struggles early this season, but if we make the playoffs, we should be able to maintain our style of play and have some success at it. Not saying we will win more than Tortorella or even win one round. That's more of a roster problem. As far as coaching goes, to me AV is a better fit for playoff performance.
First, the work ethic thing. Hockey is built on talent AND outworking your opponent. Period. For you to insinuate otherwise is just way off base. I am not saying this team is a bunch of slouches - they work hard, they're just not very good when it comes to the game being asked of them. AV asks them to play a skating game heavy on transition and rush opportunities. Great in theory -- problem is, this team doesnt have many players capable of making a play on the rush. On the other hand, Torts' best team had a junkyard dog mentality in the trenches. They won battles along the walls and in the trenches based more on guts than talent. It was the most successful Ranger team in a generation -- but yea, "its almost never work ethic."

This current team is stuck in neutral with the personnel changes that were made over the last 2 seasons. Not good/talented enough to play a skill game, and not tough enough to play that grinding game. Your quote about Vigneault's system holding up better in the playoffs is built more out of ideology than roster realism. Championship teams do both the skill and toughness thing well. That good '11-12 team did the toughness thing well. This current team does nothing particularly well.

...oh, and by the way, you were warned about this. That a coaching change would mean nothing until the roster construction was dealt with first. That didn't happen. Now, we're left with a team that plays worse defense and scores even less goals. But Im happy you agree with AV's theories -- thats always important compared to results.

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12-04-2013, 08:39 AM
  #434
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Originally Posted by GordonGecko View Post
Nash isn't a dud but he hasn't quite produced like everyone expected. Who could have predicted that. Even if the whole roster is a bunch of great guys but can't get to the next level, what's the point.
Actually, there were LOTS of warnings of whether an introvert that has been playing in Columbia would produce under the bright lights.

The mentality that Dubinsky & Prust brought has not been replaced. And frankly, chafed under Tortarella's yoke or not, ALL the players bought in and played exactly how he wanted them to. Sometimes ripping apart a core in favor of inserting a round peg into a square hole is not the answer.

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12-04-2013, 08:42 AM
  #435
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So you can keep complaining about the "grinders" all you want. But that was a part of what helped that 11-12 team succeed. The fans waving the pitch forks to fire Torts ignored - or never learned - the lessons of the dark years that they JUST ****ing went through (assuming they were either old enough to live through it or not a recent bandwagoner). Those dark years teams were a different combination of free agent "all star" forwards each year, awful defensively, didn't compete, and didn't have a team concept. The Nash trade moved this team back toward the "all-star" misfits, and away from a team concept that was working for once. Firing Torts killed not only that team concept, but seems to have also put a pretty big dent in the team's defense.
You are summarizing my feelings very well. People seemed to have forgotten what the dark years were like.

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12-04-2013, 08:43 AM
  #436
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Actually, there were LOTS of warnings of whether an introvert that has been playing in Columbia would produce under the bright lights.

The mentality that Dubinsky & Prust brought has not been replaced. And frankly, chafed under Tortarella's yoke or not, ALL the players bought in and played exactly how he wanted them to. Sometimes ripping apart a core in favor of inserting a round peg into a square hole is not the answer.
At its heart, I think Sather took that core and mentality for granted. When the team couldn't consistently score goals in the playoffs, it became all about goal scoring. Screw the consequences. I don't think it even crossed his mind that he was robbing Peter to pay Paul with his moves.

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12-04-2013, 11:02 AM
  #437
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
At its heart, I think Sather took that core and mentality for granted. When the team couldn't consistently score goals in the playoffs, it became all about goal scoring. Screw the consequences. I don't think it even crossed his mind that he was robbing Peter to pay Paul with his moves.
The move was endemic of all of his tenure. Knee jerk reaction, no thoughts to chemistry or future and eschewing grit in favor of skill.

The most frustrating part was that the team FINALLY had an identity and was FINALLY on the road to building something. And then, as most of the time when it comes to being Ranger fans, the rug was pulled out. And now, we get to go back and watch the type hockey that is really the norm and not the exception of life under Jackass.

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12-04-2013, 11:08 AM
  #438
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Great post. Agreed 100%, especially the part about work ethic. The scoring issues with this team lie in it's lack of talent, plain and simple.
Then how do you explain that, more than a third of the way through the season, a team that everyone seemed to agree was universally more talented than the '11-12 team, is scoring a half a goal per game less?

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12-04-2013, 11:17 AM
  #439
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
First, the work ethic thing. Hockey is built on talent AND outworking your opponent. Period. For you to insinuate otherwise is just way off base. I am not saying this team is a bunch of slouches - they work hard, they're just not very good when it comes to the game being asked of them. AV asks them to play a skating game heavy on transition and rush opportunities. Great in theory -- problem is, this team doesnt have many players capable of making a play on the rush. On the other hand, Torts' best team had a junkyard dog mentality in the trenches. They won battles along the walls and in the trenches based more on guts than talent. It was the most successful Ranger team in a generation -- but yea, "its almost never work ethic."

This current team is stuck in neutral with the personnel changes that were made over the last 2 seasons. Not good/talented enough to play a skill game, and not tough enough to play that grinding game. Your quote about Vigneault's system holding up better in the playoffs is built more out of ideology than roster realism. Championship teams do both the skill and toughness thing well. That good '11-12 team did the toughness thing well. This current team does nothing particularly well.

...oh, and by the way, you were warned about this. That a coaching change would mean nothing until the roster construction was dealt with first. That didn't happen. Now, we're left with a team that plays worse defense and scores even less goals. But Im happy you agree with AV's theories -- thats always important compared to results.
We don't have results yet. You're pretty confident in your predictions about what our results will be. I make no predictions. It's a long season which isn't nearly halfway over.

You COMPLETELY misunderstood what I was talking about re: work ethic. That Rangers team did win through work ethic, but my point was that their losses weren't due to a lack of work ethic and neither is this team's losses. Mondays loss, for example, was one of those nights where we just didn't have "it", however you want to define "it". The Jets had it and we didn't. It wasn't that the Jets worked harder. It wasn't that the Rangers didn't work hard. That kind of thing is far, far more common than teams taking nights off.

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12-04-2013, 11:53 AM
  #440
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Then how do you explain that, more than a third of the way through the season, a team that everyone seemed to agree was universally more talented than the '11-12 team, is scoring a half a goal per game less?
You could say they had trouble adapting to a new system, but really it was because a good amount of the forwards were injured. Nash has missed more than half the season. Hagelin and Callahan have missed significant time and still don't look healthy. And then you have guys like Stepan who missed training camp and is still finding his game, and Kreider who didn't start the season with the team.

The Rangers are 10th in GF since Nash returned on Nov. 19th. Actually the Rangers were 10th in GF in the month of November.

They need to get and stay healthy. They need to gain some consistency game to game and shift to shift. There needs to be improvements on the defensive side of the puck and, to a lesser extent, in goal. And at the end of the day they still need another scoring piece.

But I still don't think they are in a bad situation and I certainly do not think they are a bad team. I just think we have not yet seen the best this team has to offer. From most players at pretty much any position.

Which, I suppose, is where we disagree.

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12-04-2013, 12:07 PM
  #441
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Then how do you explain that, more than a third of the way through the season, a team that everyone seemed to agree was universally more talented than the '11-12 team, is scoring a half a goal per game less?
The 11-12 roster seems to be underrated by most. That team wasn't flashy, but the middle six of that group blows this current group of middle six forwards out of the water. Richards and Callahan have declined. Dubinsky and Anisimov were replaced by Brassard and Dorsett, which is a downgrade. Stepan was moved up to line 1. We lost Prust, Mtichell, and Fedotenko. There was versaility and grit in that 11-12 group that our current group dreams of having.

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12-04-2013, 12:14 PM
  #442
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You could say they had trouble adapting to a new system, but really it was because a good amount of the forwards were injured. Nash has missed more than half the season. Hagelin and Callahan have missed significant time and still don't look healthy. And then you have guys like Stepan who missed training camp and is still finding his game, and Kreider who didn't start the season with the team.

The Rangers are 10th in GF since Nash returned on Nov. 19th. Actually the Rangers were 10th in GF in the month of November.

They need to get and stay healthy. They need to gain some consistency game to game and shift to shift. There needs to be improvements on the defensive side of the puck and, to a lesser extent, in goal. And at the end of the day they still need another scoring piece.

But I still don't think they are in a bad situation and I certainly do not think they are a bad team. I just think we have not yet seen the best this team has to offer. From most players at pretty much any position.

Which, I suppose, is where we disagree.
Not entirely. I think most of this roster isn't being utilized to its strengths, and that some of the roster just plain isn't good. Ask yourself about Sather's mandate and what Vigneault is trying to get this team to do. At its core, when the puck changes possession, AV wants these guys to skate their butts off in transition and make a play on the rush. Sounds fun and exciting!!!....in theory.

But in reality, how many forwards are really good at making a special play on the rush? One. Rick Nash. Brassard and Zuccarello can make plays from time to time, but they're mediocre players that are just as prone to mistakes. Thats it really. Somehow, some way, this team has to find a balance between that style of play and the grinding/get the puck deep and operate philosophy that suits the other players on this roster. Far too often, this team has looked like a squad that stuck somewhere in between deciding what they should do with the puck. Im not so sure thats something that fixable. Its more about the spaghetti-on-the-wall type of roster construction and their limitations.

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12-04-2013, 12:25 PM
  #443
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The 11-12 roster seems to be underrated by most. That team wasn't flashy, but the middle six of that group blows this current group of middle six forwards out of the water. Richards and Callahan have declined. Dubinsky and Anisimov were replaced by Brassard and Dorsett, which is a downgrade. Stepan was moved up to line 1. We lost Prust, Mtichell, and Fedotenko. There was versaility and grit in that 11-12 group that our current group dreams of having.
Hey, I agree with this. My question was more of a rhetorical one directed at the myriad of posters who, in the offseason, lauded the offensive skill and prowess of guys like Derick Brassard, and insisted that the team's faults lied with the coach.

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12-04-2013, 12:25 PM
  #444
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AVs system isn't about making plays on the rush.

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12-04-2013, 12:26 PM
  #445
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Then how do you explain that, more than a third of the way through the season, a team that everyone seemed to agree was universally more talented than the '11-12 team, is scoring a half a goal per game less?
Team transition and I think having played the toughest part of our schedule is a factor. At the end of the year we should look back and pass judgement. Too early IMO.

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12-04-2013, 12:50 PM
  #446
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AVs system isn't about making plays on the rush.
You're right. Lately, its been about making mistakes on the rush.

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12-04-2013, 12:53 PM
  #447
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Coaches have less impact on a team's success than the players on the 4th line.

Easily.

If they mattered, they wouldn't constantly be moving from team to team. Owners and GMs fire them to cover their ***** from their mistakes. There are a couple exceptions to the rule, but only a couple, and they are exceptions because they are terrible. No one stands out as great above the others.

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12-04-2013, 12:57 PM
  #448
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Coaches have less impact on a team's success than the players on the 4th line.

Easily.

If they mattered, they wouldn't constantly be moving from team to team. Owners and GMs fire them to cover their ***** from their mistakes. There are a couple exceptions to the rule, but only a couple, and they are exceptions because they are terrible. No one stands out above the others.
I don't know if I'd agree with that. Coaching CAN have a big impact where it matters, especially on special teams.

I will say that the coach is generally not as important to the success of a franchise as the team given to him, and that coaching in hockey isn't nearly the same as coaching in football, for example, where a good coach can take no names to the promised land.

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12-04-2013, 01:08 PM
  #449
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You're right. Lately, its been about making mistakes on the rush.
Haha true. Honestly, though, AVs system is still a forechecking system.

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12-04-2013, 01:20 PM
  #450
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Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
Haha true. Honestly, though, AVs system is still a forechecking system.
Ehhh, for these guys its a bit more hybrid. The man on man defense is designed to have guys spring once the Rangers get possession, and that freedom to create a play in the neutral zone/at the other team's blueline. This team just isn't very good at that. They get in trouble an awful lot trying to make plays in that area of the ice when chipping it in and getting it deep would be the better thing to do. That idiotic Brassard pass that led to Winnipeg's first goal is a perfect example.

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