So do you think they’ll fire John Tortorella now, or wait until the end of the season?
Obviously I’m kidding, and you could definitely see a difference in the game last night. But you could also see more of the same, and without looking very hard. Just the score tells you, once again, that this team is always going to have trouble piling up goals. I have said it again and again, they lack the front-line skill of most other teams in the NHL. Not to mention the top-two defensemen skills.
So now it’s one regulation win, one shootout win, in the last 15 games. And it’s 14 goals in the 13 non-wins.
Some thoughts on the latest debacle in Toronto — oh, by the way, that’s three goals in two games against the worst defensive team in the NHL, under two different coaches:
1) It was really interesting, Tortotrella questioning their conditioning. Just one more comparison to Keenan. He demanded that conditioning on a level higher than most coaches, and he wasn’t afraid to honk about it in public.
2) Chris Drury was better. He made a lousy move in the skills competition, and he failed to finish a couple of great chances, but he was better. He screened the goalie on the only goal. Brandon Dubinsky looked pretty good in the new system, too. He will have to be one of their top two forecheckers. But he will need to find his hands around the net, too.
3) The power play was immediately improved. Not just because it scored.
4) The Rangers went for it in the OT, didn’t they?
5) You guys would have gone ape if Renney allowed a tying goal in the third period with his fourth line and sixth defenseman on the ice as Tortorella did. Also, the Rangers had one solid shift after their only goal, then on the next shift Dominic Moore came flying in to create two unbelievably good chances. So that hasn’t changed yet.
6) For some of these overhauls, the Rangers need some practices right now, so starting out this new era with three in four nights isn’t helping one bit. After Saturday, they get a four-day break, through the trade deadline. But after Saturday they have only 18 games left.
7) Tortorella said more than one assistant coach is too much. Which means next year you can count on Mike Sullivan, his guy in Tampa, to be here. It was Sullivan’s contract that held up the announcement Monday, not compensation. At least that’s the way I understand it.
8) Wade Redden scored a goal in Europe, the next game scored one in the United States and 57 short games later he scored another one in North America. Seriously, though, he looked a little better, too. Firing away, joining the play. Marc Staal also.
9) In case you missed it, here were Jacques Martin’s thoughts on trading Jay Bouwmeester at the deadline, although I seriously doubt the Rangers have the assets to get him or the cap space to fit him.
10) Also, in case you missed it, George Vecsey, the great columnist at The Times, had a piece on the 30th anniverasry of the Denis Potvin hit on Ulf Nilsson, which begat the infamous chant. You can read it here. Potvin will be in the building tonight as Florida’s TV analyst. Oh, in the story, I don’t believe Vecsey once used one of the two words in the chant. (NOTE: I’m now finding you may need a password to get in. I was reading it without a password early this morning).
11) I’d fight Markus Naslund for paychecks.
12) Have I told you what I think of the shootout?
Jane is doing the game tonight. She’ll put up a post before the game. Enjoy.