Quick post before Tort’s presser

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Jane here with the details from today’s practice, which will be followed by an introduction to new Rangers coach John Tortorella.

It was much more uptempo, shorter drills and sprints. We got a glimpse of Tortorella’s first lines: Dubinsky, Drury and Callahan; Gomez, Naslund and Zherdev; Dawes, Prucha and Korpikoski; and Sjostrom, Betts and Orr.

Paul Mara has a right shoulder injury which will keep him from skating in tomorrow night’s game in Toronto.

Carp and I want to thank you guys for being so great yesterday. A lot of your comments were really smart and kept us digging for more before the Rangers made their official announcement on the new coach. I’ll have more from his comments later.

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72 Comments

  1. Prucha and Dawes are going to both play cause they have value! A trade has to happen and I dont mean just Avery!!

  2. Thanks for the update Jane. You all are doing a terrific job. Reading this is so much more interesting that the paper’s. No offense. The live(sorta)updates are awesome.

  3. Doodie Machetto on

    Interesting line combinations. Dawes and Prucha have been playing well when paired together.

    Jane, what about defense pairings? Also, you didn’t link Carp’s column, although I think you meant to.

  4. I would venture to guess that Voros will probably be traded.

    I dig the new 3 lines. Although I would like to see Prucha with Gomez and Zherdev. Maybe that could be the first pp unit?

  5. Those are the lines i expected.

    It’s good to see Pruchs in there, Torts knows this team needs offense, and even if Pruchs lost his touch, he still has scored way more goals than Voros has, and is more energetic.

    Hopefully Torts can whip him into shape, and he can just play damn good hockey, doesn’t matter if it’s scoring or just playing physical, as long as he’s not wasting his shifts like Druru does, im okay with that.

  6. Who is the second player that will incur the wrath of Torts? We all know Redden will be 1st. I’m not counting Voros because he’ll be scratched.

  7. Looks good to me. I honestly cannot wait for tomorrow’s game. I am not expecting a heck of a lot right away. It will take a game or two for the system to click, but I am actually looking forward to watching Rangers hockey for the rest of the season.

  8. Has anyone in the media called Jagr or Shanahan for their comments? Shanahan probably wouldn’t say much, but Jagr is always honest.

  9. “but I am actually looking forward to watching Rangers hockey for the rest of the season”

    Same for me. It’s not fun wanting your fav team to lose just so the coach gets fired. Now that Renney’s gone, i can go back to rooting for them. I would still love to have a shot at Tavares, or Hedman, but what are the odd’s Nyr can make that happen. The Isles are a lock for number 1, especially once they dump Guerin, Weight, and any other players on the team.

  10. im not so sure about these lines, I mean Drury-Cally is fine, but gomez-Zherdev worked for one game and was toast afterwards, I think for the time being they should stick with the current lines, most importantly dawes-drury-prucha and Dubinsky with Zherdev…hopefully he’ll bench Kalinin and Redden but with Mara out I don’t exactly see that happening.

  11. I thought Gomez and Dubi looked good the other night. Never really thought that Dubi and Drury were all that impressive on the same line. Dru has played well with Dawes and Callahan/Prucha. Gomez and Zherdev haven’t really done a whole lot together, then again Zherdev hasn’t done a lot period aside from those 2 awkward goals in Dallas. You don’t need 2 guys that overhandle the puck on the same line.

    I’d go with:
    Dubi-Gomez-Prucha (size-speed/playmaking-hard to net)
    Dawes-Drury-Callahn (vision-two way pivot-grinder)
    Naslund-Korpi-Zherdev (what remains of skill-grinder-skill)
    Sjo-Betts-Orr (the usual)

  12. I’m surprised that Z is on with Gomez… didn’t that fail miserably? I’m open of course… but it still shocked me a bit.

  13. Renney couldn’t figure out the lines all season

    Let’s give Torts more than 45 minutes…

    also, a more uptempo approach may unlock some player chemistry that was impossible under Renney.

  14. For fu**s sake stop with the lines, Let Torts play with combos…there is nothing I hate more than reading line combos from a bunch of fans.
    I mean the guy has been coach for less than 24 hours, and already there are stupid comments on the line combos.
    This is Torts system, not Renney’s anymore, your going to see a different style of hockey! Yes Gomez didn’t work with Z under Renneys system but they may work very well together under Torts. Wait and see a few games before starting with your own fantasy lines.
    Oh my, I feel an onslaught of criticism coming…

  15. These lines are stupid guys….who the hell is going to get the puck on the Zherdev, Gomez and Naslund line. Prucha, Dawes and Korpikoski is a horrible backchecking line, and you definately don’t want to play them when you are away, because the other team has the last change. I guarantee every time they are out there, Toronto’s first line will magically roll on out. First line is good, but what I would rather see is Dubinsky, Gomez and Prucha.
    Sjostrom, Drury, Zherdev
    Dawes, Korpikoski, Callahan
    Orr, Betts and Naslund ahahaha. Only in my perfect world.
    You guys will probably disagree, but no one can say that those lines wouldn’t work hard.

  16. Evan S,

    You have to remember, those lines were used in Renney’s defense-first system. The hold back system. Torts has a much more energetic run-n-gun type play style, so i think these young & quick players we have will thrive under that.

    Look how we started off the season, run-n-gun puck possession. Then Renney tried to keep instilling defense first, and look where that led us. We need a coach like Torts, to hold players like Drury, Redden, etc accountable for their bad play.

    Can’t wait for the rest of the season. I see us doing big things :)

  17. I got sick just a second ago when I thought back to the time before blogs. This type of information we get straight from practice to our eyes is nice. I remember when I couldn’t wait to get to the newstand to read about the rangers god life before the blogs was rough ; ) I will also like to say good job on this blog carp and jane and GO RANGERS!!!

  18. I think Z with Gomez is a good idea. Z needs to be told: you cant bring up the puck. Gomez will, so you don’t end up giving it up and then lost in the o-zone. Just get in there behind Gomez and score. Maybe it’ll work.

    Think Prucha is psyched?

    At least now, with the coaching change, I might not have to feel like i can simply fast forward through out power plays…

  19. Oh and Rick, i’m sorry but those lines in your “perfect world” are idiotic. Naslund on the 4th line? Are you kidding? Naslund has been our most consistent player all year long. Those lines are terribly unbalanced. You can’t have 3 young kids on a line, you need a veteran passing precense.

  20. Haha, sorry for posting so much. I forgot to add,

    Another reason I’m extremely happy with the coaching move is the renewed opportunity Prucha will be getting. A clean slate, I guess you can say. Torts isn’t ignorant, so he knows we need scoring. Prucha helps that, Voros doesn’t.

  21. i heard Renney left Tortorella a note in the top draw of his desk labeled #35 from #34

    it was the link to the “line generator”

  22. Who should set the lines? A Cup winning coach or an unemployed blogger? Torts will figure it out. Don’t worry.

  23. Hahahahahahahahah I LOOOOVVVEEEE how people are already praising and/or criticizing these lines. You have got to be kidding. Without even watching 30 seconds of actual hockey. This is ALMOST as bad a Knicks fans booing Larry Hughes last night (even though a reputation certainly preceded him).

    Look, who KNOWS what this is going to look like. And has it occurred to anyone that it might take 2 or 3 games for the team to get used to the coach and vice-versa?

    I like the move. But Torts can’t change the fact that this team lacks serious offensive talent. But let’s reserve judgment until we watch, I don’t know, a shift or two at least!

  24. This will be my last quip but two things, 1-I am employed 2- Naslund has not been the most consistent player, Callahan has been. Naslund has good numbers because he gets the primo ice time. Even if the power play is morbid, he still gets thrown out there more than anyone else does.
    cwgatti-you have a point, I guess i am just so used to Tom Renney never figuring anything I panicked.

  25. Something needs to happen with the power play lines, not so much with even strength. If Torts sticks the same lines out there as Renney/Pearn, I’m gonna put my foot thru the tv.

    That’s were the goals need to come from, especially in this whistle-happy NHL. First PP unit should be Gomez centering Prucha and Dubi with Zherdev and Girardi at the point. that way you have a nice mix of puck possession (Gomez) size in the corners to dig out in case gomez dumps (Dubi) and a scoring nose for the net to put in the garbage (prucha). Zherdev has some damn shot so it should be put to good use at the point and Girardi should be used as a defensive backstop.

  26. Jane/Carp,

    Any chance we will get the real reason Prucha was always scratched now that Renney is gone?

  27. Great reporting, kudos to Jane and Carp!
    Line combo’s and tempo’s aside, I want to see execution,less break downs and more opportunities, better team work and positioning on the ice.

  28. I thought Korpikoski was responding well at left wing. Dubinsky is a center. We will see how they play under the new coach.

  29. hey guys,

    I was in D.C for the weekend so could you fill me in on 2 points:

    Did Renney issue a statement?
    Is he staying with the team in any capacity?

    thanks

  30. I wonder if Sather is gonna pull a trade for Tkachuk sooner rather than later. . . . .maybe to give Torts a scoring winger right away to get into the lineup.

  31. Wow!!

    Great day yesterday

    So excited for tomorrows game

    Gotta be honest; I was exhausted yesterday man…I couldn’t move…great reporting all day long kept me hopping

  32. I wouldn’t get hung up on the lines. Torts will likely juggle them for a few games to get a feel of his players in game situations, especially on the powerplay and penalty kill.

  33. Tortorella has already scored points with me for getting Voros out of there. He’s a stiff and his whole act as a tough guy doesn’t hold water because he is a pathetic fighter and still getting time based upon his performance in the first 10 games. Prucha should be in the lineup every day. I am however a bit wary of the way Zherdev is going to react to Tortorella’s coaching style. Hopefully a large portion of his berating Nik will focus on him shooting the puck.

  34. I’m laughing at the over done enthusiasm of some bloggers from this new coaching change. As to not be subject to extreme disappointment, some bloggers should temper their hopes. This team still has and still will have, Redden, Voros, Prucha, and the rest of the 3rd line parade.

    Sure, Renney is open to criticism, but to put all of the blame on him is ludicrous. No matter who the coach is and what the style, players should be expected to score, EVEN ACCIDENTALLY, more than NYR has throughout 50 games. No coach can turn this current team into a cup contender, so relax and pray for new additions and subtractions.

  35. Being in the DC area I was not going to watch the game tomorrow on NHL Network if Renney was still coach, but now I’m looking forward to the game!

  36. Saw this from a Devils blog regarding Shanny’s comments. Pretty telling.

    Right wing Brendan Shanahan said his bruised right foot felt OK today after missing practice on Monday and he too expects to play on Thursday.

    “It was an improvement for sure once I got out there and skated around a little bit,” Shanahan said. “I wouldn’t say it restricted me. It was a little sore in the beginning.”

    ***

    Shanahan on the Rangers’ replacing head coach Tom Renney with John Tortorella on Monday: “I’m obviously not in tune with what’s going on over there. Just from what I read in the papers, it sounded like something may happen. I haven’t spoken to any of the players…Tortorella is a passionate guy and a very strong personality. I think of the teams that he coached and there’s no confusion about who’s in charge.”

    Shanahan didn’t have a lot to say when asked if he liked playing for Renney.

    “Yeah, sure,” he said. “And Perry (Pearn, assistant coach) and Mike Pelino.”

    Pearn was also fired, but Pelino was not.

    If Shanahan was being reserved about Renney, it might have something to do with the way things ended for him with the Rangers. More than one person has told me that it was Renney who did not want Shanahan back and not general manager Glen Sather — though, obviously, Sather has the final say there.

    Shanahan has said nothing, however, about whether he believes Renney played a role the end of his Rangers’ career.

    Shanahan did note that all four head coaches whose teams started the season in Europe (Renney, Michel Therien, Craig Hartsburg and Barry Melrose) have been fired.

    “As of right now, I don’t think any coach is willing to go to Europe to start the season,” Shanahan said.

  37. I am sure that Tort’s up tempo style will help the struggling Rangers to score, but can we at least keep the Peter Prucha thing in perspective. Him being in the line-up will not help this team anymore than Voros. He has 3 goals and 5 assists in 25 games. That’s half the season thus far. At that rate he will average around 9 goals. And don’t say it’s because he never plays, it’s because he sucks. 25 games is more than enough to prove yourself. he is irrelevant on the ice. Granted, the guy tries, but he’s a defensive liability and just can’t score.

  38. I respectfully disagree with you on Prucha. I spend very little time looking at statistics to judge players and go based upon what I watch in the games. What I see in Voros is an extremely mediocre hockey player trying to get in shoving matches after every whistle and not scoring points. What I see in Prucha is someone that flies around the ice and is involved in making plays, successfully or not, every time he gets an opporunity to play. Prucha is the better talent, simple as that.

  39. just compare their histories…. thats why Pruchs deserves a shot and Voros doesnt even deserve to be jim Ramseys shoe laces

  40. Rmant – you’re absolutely wrong. Prucha does not suck. He just hasn’t been used in the proper way. He’s a power play guy and will only score goals if he gets more than 10 seconds a game in PP time. Oh and he’s probobly the only one on the team – RIGHT NOW – that plays with any heart/grit.

    To say he sucks is just an ignorant attempt to go against the grain of opinions.

  41. If our “big six”, not including Henrik, played with half the passion of prucha, we’d be sitting in first place right now.

  42. You guys are absurd.

    The people who are already over-analyzing Tortorella’s line combinations in his first practice are the same morons who were booing the Rangers PP on Opening Night when the Rangers had a lead and a 0-0-0 record.

    (Granted, eventually you would be well within your rights, but stick with me)

    I don’t even think this has to do with patience, I feel like sporting events have become an excuse for a three-hour profanity-laced tirade for most people, the only way to vent frustration felt in their every day lives.

    The people guilty of this are miserable and taint the normally-incredible experience of a hockey game with their venom.

    If the team is awful, which by and large it has been this year, what exactly is screaming like a maniac going to do?

    By the same token, what is tearing into a coach’s decisions less than a day into his tenure going to accomplish?

    Calling for Tom Renney’s head for months is about as productive, by the way. Glad you’ve gotten what you wanted, the organization’s most intelligent hockey mind is no longer employed by the team. Woo! Let the celebration begin. Now that your scapegoat is gone, if this season continues to swirl around the bowl, I hope you’re willing to admit that Tom couldn’t have done anything to stop it.

    Reason says that shouting encouragement or “Let’s Go Rangers!” chants — Huh? What are those? — does a lot more to help your team than the alternative.

    Anyway, how about treating this as a fresh start? It’s pretty much a clean slate — the Rangers could go .500 down the stretch and make the second season. How about some god damned positivity, you bastards!? (Sorry, I decided to try things out from your side of things.)

    Seriously, breathe. Relax. Hockey was a good, happy thing for you at some point in your life before you made it a scream-until-you-have-an-anerysm outlet for anger.

  43. February 24th, 2009 at 1:28 pm
    Wow!!

    Great day yesterday

    So excited for tomorrows game

    Gotta be honest; I was exhausted yesterday man…I couldn’t move…great reporting all day long kept me hopping

    —–

    great day for u kaspar… not so much for Beer Me!

  44. Mike – The coach hasn’t made any decisions yet, those comments and the lines reported on each and every blog are just pure speculation.

  45. Voice of Reason on

    to KOA:

    How do you define consistency? By looking at the Stat sheet. Naslund has been disappointing at best.

    My guess is that he’ll be one of the quickest to enter the doghouse…

    I’d try these lines:

    Dubi Gomez PRucha
    Dawes Drury Cally
    Naslund Korpi Zherdev
    Sjostrom Betts Orr

    look for Sjostrom and Betts to play more if Zherdev and Naslund disappear in physical games

  46. Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you However I am experiencing issue with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting identical rss problem? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

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