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How Many Players Now Regret the Tortorella Firing?

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12-04-2013, 02:28 PM
  #451
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
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.
Brassard, Callahan, and Richards make so many stupid, low percentage plays in the neutral zone, it's ridiculous. Yeah, Brassard will make a nice, flashy play every once in awhile, but for the most part he's turning pucks over and going offside. Callahan is just an absolute abortion with the puck on the rush. Richards is past his prime.

I was watching the Chicago/Dallas game last night and noticed Toews making a nice play at the blueline to give himself some space by and make a play. It was a simple play, yet a play I rarely see any of our players make, and if they tried to, it would probably end up a turnover. The lack of coherence in the neutral zone is probably the biggest issue with this team offensively. The transition looks better and it's giving us more odd man rushes, but the players can't execute. They are terrible at shooting the puck, which makes it easy for opposing defenders to put pressure on them and force them to take a weak, easy to stop shot. Most of our players can't pass the puck well in transition, either. The only line we have that is capable of being dangerous on the rush is Kreider-Stepan-Nash. Most good teams have 4th lines that can make plays off the rush, and we only have one. It's pathetic, and it's been the same way for many, many years.

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12-04-2013, 02:48 PM
  #452
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Brassard, Callahan, and Richards make so many stupid, low percentage plays in the neutral zone, it's ridiculous. Yeah, Brassard will make a nice, flashy play every once in awhile, but for the most part he's turning pucks over and going offside. Callahan is just an absolute abortion with the puck on the rush. Richards is past his prime.

I was watching the Chicago/Dallas game last night and noticed Toews making a nice play at the blueline to give himself some space by and make a play. It was a simple play, yet a play I rarely see any of our players make, and if they tried to, it would probably end up a turnover. The lack of coherence in the neutral zone is probably the biggest issue with this team offensively. The transition looks better and it's giving us more odd man rushes, but the players can't execute. They are terrible at shooting the puck, which makes it easy for opposing defenders to put pressure on them and force them to take a weak, easy to stop shot. Most of our players can't pass the puck well in transition, either. The only line we have that is capable of being dangerous on the rush is Kreider-Stepan-Nash. Most good teams have 4th lines that can make plays off the rush, and we only have one. It's pathetic, and it's been the same way for many, many years.
I was going to being up Callahan. While I love the rest of the game, he might be one of the worst players I've ever seen when it comes to transporting the puck through the neutral zone.

You can open up a system and put the players in a position to make plays in these critical areas of the ice, but you cant make the plays for them. Its not really something that can be taught. Thats inherent talent. One of the reasons I respected Tortorella is because he was able to say '**** this, my team isn't very good at this safe is death stuff, so Im going to put them in a situation where their less likely to make mistakes.' I think Vigneault will go the same direction, eventually. Its the realities of the roster.

For some folks, each season seems to represent a clean slate. But when you've only got the opportunity to make a few roster adjustments each season, the guys who have been on the team are what they are. You still see plenty of people saying "Nah, these guys havent played up to their ceiling yet." Do they ever think their ceiling for players is a bit too high? Same goes for their belief that a coach can fix these types of things?

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12-04-2013, 03:56 PM
  #453
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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.
I don't think fixing the transition game had much to do with making fancy plays on the rush. It had to with getting out of their own zone and through the neutral zone more than making plays in the offensive zone. The Rangers had a tendency to get pinned in their own zone because the opposition knew that if you took away the boards the puck wasn't leaving the zone. Movement in the neutral zone consisted of a few set passes, one of which was a stretch pass that never worked. This was particularly problematic in the playoffs when teams were able to adjust their game and practice against it for days. On the offensive side even if the Rangers wanted to be purely dump-and-chase team, moving the puck out and between the blue lines quickly is needed if you want to pursue with any speed.

Having speed helps immensely in the neutral zone, but the concept is not skill dependent. Its about knowing where your support players are (or where they should be) and about knowing what options you have so a safe decision can be made quickly. You can see a successful transition game at pretty much every level of hockey. Its as much about defense as it is about offense, at least that is the way I have always seen it.

I am not ready to declare AV a success or a failure 1/3 of the way into his first season. I have seen improvements in some areas and regression in others. I would like to see what a healthy team can do for a stretch. Could Torts have fixed these issues with a good x&o's assistant? Probably. But I am not convinced that the system he coached or his lack of winning a cup was why he was fired. Like I said before guys like him have a quick expiration date.

Torts, a defensive coach, was replaced by a defensive coach. It seemed like a good fit to me. I always liked the system AV plays. We'll see if it works.

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12-04-2013, 04:58 PM
  #454
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
I was going to being up Callahan. While I love the rest of the game, he might be one of the worst players I've ever seen when it comes to transporting the puck through the neutral zone.

You can open up a system and put the players in a position to make plays in these critical areas of the ice, but you cant make the plays for them. Its not really something that can be taught. Thats inherent talent. One of the reasons I respected Tortorella is because he was able to say '**** this, my team isn't very good at this safe is death stuff, so Im going to put them in a situation where their less likely to make mistakes.' I think Vigneault will go the same direction, eventually. Its the realities of the roster.

For some folks, each season seems to represent a clean slate. But when you've only got the opportunity to make a few roster adjustments each season, the guys who have been on the team are what they are. You still see plenty of people saying "Nah, these guys havent played up to their ceiling yet." Do they ever think their ceiling for players is a bit too high? Same goes for their belief that a coach can fix these types of things?
Hopefully changes are made to the roster to fit AV's style a little more. If AV switches the system and plays something similar to a Torts game i will be disgusted. I'll be disgusted because that will be a complete waste of firing a coach. IMO, i think Torts could have won a cup with this team but that ship has sailed. If we are going back to more of a defensive game, why fire Torts to begin with? Torts is part of the reason why our kids got to play.

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12-04-2013, 05:20 PM
  #455
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
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.
Except that what happened in the Winnipeg game is an example of what AV doesn't want them to do. Yes, there is more leeway in the neutral zone. But, with the puck, his system is about high percentage passes the allow the team to keep control. It isn't supposed to be about creativity first, but rather a simplicity that allows for creativity in the right moments. This means that sometimes, dumping the puck in is the option. Canucks players dumped the puck in a lot too. The problem the Rangers experienced against Winnipeg (and also the game against LA at home and the game in Tampa) is that they were trying to be creative when the simple solution was called for, as you said. That kind of decision making is affected by variations in performance from one game to the next. It really isn't a problem with the system.

AV asks his players to play a simple game. He did the same thing in Vancouver too, if you really read the scouting reports of his system. The real problem is that, right now, the Rangers aren't doing a good job within AV's system. Combine that with the fact that the Rangers players SHOULD be suited to playing this type of a simple game, and that's why AV is so frustrated. It's why I'm frustrated too. For all this team's roster deficiencies, there is no reason related to skill as to why the team isn't executing the gameplan to the best of their abilities, whatever ability level that happens to be. Aside from the Boston game, I'm not seeing an effort issue either. It's simply an execution issue. And I might buy that the roster is the problem with execution... except we've seen that they can do it. The team is in a slump... and these things absolutely happen over the course of a season.

Mostly, I'm frustrated with the question mark still hanging over this team. I can easily see them rattling off 8 wins in this stretch before Christmas. I can easily see them ending up 5-5. I can easily see them losing 8 games. What is this group? Will we ever find out? Luckily, there's still 27 days before 2014.

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12-04-2013, 07:32 PM
  #456
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Except that what happened in the Winnipeg game is an example of what AV doesn't want them to do. Yes, there is more leeway in the neutral zone. But, with the puck, his system is about high percentage passes the allow the team to keep control. It isn't supposed to be about creativity first, but rather a simplicity that allows for creativity in the right moments. This means that sometimes, dumping the puck in is the option. Canucks players dumped the puck in a lot too. The problem the Rangers experienced against Winnipeg (and also the game against LA at home and the game in Tampa) is that they were trying to be creative when the simple solution was called for, as you said. That kind of decision making is affected by variations in performance from one game to the next. It really isn't a problem with the system.

AV asks his players to play a simple game. He did the same thing in Vancouver too, if you really read the scouting reports of his system. The real problem is that, right now, the Rangers aren't doing a good job within AV's system. Combine that with the fact that the Rangers players SHOULD be suited to playing this type of a simple game, and that's why AV is so frustrated. It's why I'm frustrated too. For all this team's roster deficiencies, there is no reason related to skill as to why the team isn't executing the gameplan to the best of their abilities, whatever ability level that happens to be. Aside from the Boston game, I'm not seeing an effort issue either. It's simply an execution issue. And I might buy that the roster is the problem with execution... except we've seen that they can do it. The team is in a slump... and these things absolutely happen over the course of a season.

Mostly, I'm frustrated with the question mark still hanging over this team. I can easily see them rattling off 8 wins in this stretch before Christmas. I can easily see them ending up 5-5. I can easily see them losing 8 games. What is this group? Will we ever find out? Luckily, there's still 27 days before 2014.
I dont care how much puck support you get, or how easy a play is perceived to be thanks to a system. Isn't the ability to process and execute the correct play with the puck the very essence of hockey skill and talent? What are you insinuating here?? These guys that have played hockey their entire lives will get better at it once they fully learn a system? How long does that take to happen, by the way?

Sorry about all the questions, but thats what happens with me whenever somebody presents the "We'll see" argument.

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12-05-2013, 08:51 AM
  #457
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Except that what happened in the Winnipeg game is an example of what AV doesn't want them to do.
Ok, fine, let's go with that. A third of the way into the season and at least half the games are played in a way that AV does not want for them to play. Where is the accountability? Why is AV not holding anyone except Del Zotto accountable for anything? Why are the players not afraid to play in a way that AV does not want?

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12-05-2013, 08:55 AM
  #458
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These guys that have played hockey their entire lives will get better at it once they fully learn a system? How long does that take to happen, by the way?
A question that the pro-AV crowd do not answer or choose not to answer is how does a defensive corp that for several years was not only a strong point of the team but was considered among the top team wise, suddenly look utterly lost in their own end? How are they so careless? How are players suddenly roaming free in the Rangers zone?

Surely, they cannot be learning the system. That does not make one look inept.

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12-05-2013, 08:57 AM
  #459
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Ok, fine, let's go with that. A third of the way into the season and at least half the games are played in a way that AV does not want for them to play. Where is the accountability? Why is AV not holding anyone except Del Zotto accountable for anything? Why are the players not afraid to play in a way that AV does not want?

I agree. I would like to see him bench Staal or Callahan, 2 captains who can play much better. Not too sure why he benches guys like DZ and Moore. Bench the leaders and see if there is a response

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12-05-2013, 08:58 AM
  #460
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Ok, fine, let's go with that. A third of the way into the season and at least half the games are played in a way that AV does not want for them to play. Where is the accountability? Why is AV not holding anyone except Del Zotto accountable for anything? Why are the players not afraid to play in a way that AV does not want?
Brassard was immediately demoted for that kind of play. Beyond that, when your whole team is having a problem, who do you punish?

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12-05-2013, 09:02 AM
  #461
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Brassard was immediately demoted for that kind of play. Beyond that, when your whole team is having a problem, who do you punish?
When was Brassard scratched? Whom do I punish? Everyone. Start at the top. Bench AND scratch the top players when they do not play the way that you want. And then work your way down. NO ONE should be safe when the on ice product is sheer mediocrity. And if your point is that they would be better if they played in the system that AV wants, then start by punishing wholesale. Have Brassard, Hagellin & Richards miss a game. Maybe two. Then work your way down.

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12-05-2013, 09:08 AM
  #462
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I dont care how much puck support you get, or how easy a play is perceived to be thanks to a system. Isn't the ability to process and execute the correct play with the puck the very essence of hockey skill and talent? What are you insinuating here?? These guys that have played hockey their entire lives will get better at it once they fully learn a system? How long does that take to happen, by the way?

Sorry about all the questions, but thats what happens with me whenever somebody presents the "We'll see" argument.
For one thing, these guys are obviously not confident in playing the system they're being asked to. They also don't seem to be particularly focused with consistency from one game to the next. Maybe that's the coach's fault. Maybe that's the captain's fault. Maybe it's a team struggling through this together. I don't know, I'm not in the room.

There are a lot of teams who have had to learn a drastically new system who have taken until January to be fully executing it on a regular basis. This isn't limited to the Rangers or this particular roster. We've seen good signs from time to time. I think it's more encouraging than not that we're still winning more than most of the teams in the East. I take the "we'll see" argument because, despite all the crying here, I think it's a little silly to have a strong opinion on the future of this season at this point in the year with a .500 hockey team.

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12-05-2013, 09:10 AM
  #463
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When was Brassard scratched? Whom do I punish? Everyone. Start at the top. Bench AND scratch the top players when they do not play the way that you want. And then work your way down. NO ONE should be safe when the on ice product is sheer mediocrity. And if your point is that they would be better if they played in the system that AV wants, then start by punishing wholesale. Have Brassard, Hagellin & Richards miss a game. Maybe two. Then work your way down.
I didn't say Brassard was scratched. But he made a poor decision and went from the 2nd line (and 2nd line minutes) to the 4th line.

That philosophy of running a team, even a struggling team, is simply awful. Even Tortorella didn't do that crap. The only way these issues shake out is by playing.

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12-05-2013, 09:20 AM
  #464
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For one thing, these guys are obviously not confident in playing the system they're being asked to. They also don't seem to be particularly focused with consistency from one game to the next. Maybe that's the coach's fault. Maybe that's the captain's fault. Maybe it's a team struggling through this together. I don't know, I'm not in the room.

There are a lot of teams who have had to learn a drastically new system who have taken until January to be fully executing it on a regular basis. This isn't limited to the Rangers or this particular roster. We've seen good signs from time to time. I think it's more encouraging than not that we're still winning more than most of the teams in the East. I take the "we'll see" argument because, despite all the crying here, I think it's a little silly to have a strong opinion on the future of this season at this point in the year with a .500 hockey team.
I respect your opinion on the subject - you were not one of the inane voices who screamed about firing the last coach just for the sake of doing something. Im in agreement that, over the long haul, AV's system is more exciting and more sustainable. But you gotta have the right players to be more than a mediocre team. And I dont think this team does. Its a hodge-podge of different types of players, most of them not overly skilled at moving the puck through the neutral zone.

Sather continues to fly by the seat of his pants. Weren't scoring at the end of '11-12? Gut the middle of the lineup for Nash. Not deep enough for Torts standards? Trade Gaborik for the Columbus guys. Didn't work? Fire Torts, hire AV. Where the direction? This is no way to build a team.

All AV's system is now is an ideology until he gets a full roster capable of executing it. But I know, I know...."we'll see"

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12-05-2013, 09:21 AM
  #465
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I didn't say Brassard was scratched. But he made a poor decision and went from the 2nd line (and 2nd line minutes) to the 4th line.

That philosophy of running a team, even a struggling team, is simply awful. Even Tortorella didn't do that crap. The only way these issues shake out is by playing.
This team is so short on depth thats its almost impossible to start scratching forwards. Whats the alternative? Pouliot and Pyatt in the lineup together?

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12-05-2013, 09:30 AM
  #466
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I respect your opinion on the subject - you were not one of the inane voices who screamed about firing the last coach just for the sake of doing something. Im in agreement that, over the long haul, AV's system is more exciting and more sustainable. But you gotta have the right players to be more than a mediocre team. And I dont think this team does. Its a hodge-podge of different types of players, most of them not overly skilled at moving the puck through the neutral zone.

Sather continues to fly by the seat of his pants. Weren't scoring at the end of '11-12? Gut the middle of the lineup for Nash. Not deep enough for Torts standards? Trade Gaborik for the Columbus guys. Didn't work? Fire Torts, hire AV. Where the direction? This is no way to build a team.

All AV's system is now is an ideology until he gets a full roster capable of executing it. But I know, I know...."we'll see"
We will. I'm also frustrated with Sather. I was against the scope of the Nash deal when it occurred. BB's point about the strength of that team's middle 6 was right on the money, and that offseason I wanted to just simply bring in a top-6 forward through free agency (Ray Whitney, Penner, there were others) to bolster our offense.

I do happen to think that Tortorella's time had just about run its course here, but I would have had no problem with one more season from him. Over Torts' tenure, we saw the roster change to fit his mold. We've gotta wonder if the same is going to him under AV and how long it's going to take if it does. It might not take very long at all with the number of expiring deals we have.

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12-05-2013, 09:42 AM
  #467
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We will. I'm also frustrated with Sather. I was against the scope of the Nash deal when it occurred. BB's point about the strength of that team's middle 6 was right on the money, and that offseason I wanted to just simply bring in a top-6 forward through free agency (Ray Whitney, Penner, there were others) to bolster our offense.

I do happen to think that Tortorella's time had just about run its course here, but I would have had no problem with one more season from him. Over Torts' tenure, we saw the roster change to fit his mold. We've gotta wonder if the same is going to him under AV and how long it's going to take if it does. It might not take very long at all with the number of expiring deals we have.
Im not saying Sather's job is easy, but I wish he'd really map out a long term plan regarding what he wants the roster to look like and how that fits the coach's philosophy.

You've got pieces here that COULD become really good players if other parts of the roster are improved. Hagelin and Zuccarello comes to mind. Right now, on a mediocre team thats not particularly strong down the middle, those guys are bottom-end top 6 types. You get a really dynamic, play-making center in here, and that could change.

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12-05-2013, 09:55 AM
  #468
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I agree. I would like to see him bench Staal or Callahan, 2 captains who can play much better. Not too sure why he benches guys like DZ and Moore. Bench the leaders and see if there is a response
It's not that simple. It's tough to just bench your best players when you want to win. I absolutely agree that Cally should be benched, cause he's been inexcusably bad lately. But who takes his spot?

DZ and Moore get benched because 1. they're playing terrible (DZ hasn't of late but you get it), and 2. They're players we have a backup plan for (Justin Falk). Is Justin Falk going to adequately replace Staal? Doubt it.

If he were to prioritize "sending a message" over winning, he'd a pretty bad coach. Gotta give your team the best chance every night, and unfortunately that's with Cally + Staal in the lineup.

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12-05-2013, 09:56 AM
  #469
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That philosophy of running a team, even a struggling team, is simply awful. Even Tortorella didn't do that crap. The only way these issues shake out is by playing.
Tortarella had no problem scratching players. If the players do not fear not dressing, then you get what you have been seeing. There is no accountability right now.

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12-05-2013, 09:59 AM
  #470
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Tortarella had no problem scratching players. If the players do not fear not dressing, then you get what you have been seeing. There is no accountability right now.
Thats the way the players and the GM wanted it.

Guys are just having fun out there, even if it leads to braindead turnovers.

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12-05-2013, 10:09 AM
  #471
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This team is so short on depth thats its almost impossible to start scratching forwards. Whats the alternative? Pouliot and Pyatt in the lineup together?
It's about time for another JT Miller call-up!

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12-05-2013, 10:10 AM
  #472
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It's about time for another JT Miller call-up!
Exactly. Hes just starting to play well and get some confidence in the AHL -- about time to yank him up again.

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12-05-2013, 10:45 AM
  #473
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Tortarella had no problem scratching players. If the players do not fear not dressing, then you get what you have been seeing. There is no accountability right now.
The only players that Tortorella ever held accountable in that manner were Dubinsky and Anisimov. A couple of in-game benchings of Gaborik. No one else. And even then, they simply got demoted down lines, rather than scratched. I don't remember many healthy scratches of top-6 forwards or top-4 defensemen in Tortorella's tenure.

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12-05-2013, 10:52 AM
  #474
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The only players that Tortorella ever held accountable in that manner were Dubinsky and Anisimov. A couple of in-game benchings of Gaborik. No one else. And even then, they simply got demoted down lines, rather than scratched. I don't remember many healthy scratches of top-6 forwards or top-4 defensemen in Tortorella's tenure.
Brad Richards say hello.

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12-05-2013, 11:04 AM
  #475
Tawnos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
Brad Richards say hello.
That's one... and Brad Richards was playing on the 4th line at that point. Besides, if scratching him was the answer, where was the accountability in all of the awful stretches he had during the regular season in both years? This was not a standard Tortorella practice.

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