Torts finally blew a gasket publicly. In the postgame news conference he lashed out at the team with obscenities and knocked over a chair. Not Bobby Knight mad, or fight a fan in the stands level mad, but close. Good for him. Now turn that anger around and focus it on yourself. Torts is as much to blame for the Rangers debacle as any player or GM. Maybe his system will work with 23 players who can physically and mentally play that way. But this team, as much as it tries, simply cannot. Be it age, skill, desire, whatever. A coach’s job is to get the most out of the players he has. It is not to stuff square pegs into round holes and then get mad when the machine does not work. Ever try putting diesel into Ferrari? Good luck getting it to start.
Right now the Rangers are playing a mish-mash style. Ostensibly it is an attack-oriented pressure game. But because of their inability to (a) score and (b) defend when counter-attacked they instead play this hodgepodge pseudo-style that kind of attacks and kind of defends. As much as it pains me to say — actually, it doesn’t cause I liked Renney — the Rangers need to go back to a defense-first system. Then, when the talent is upgraded, transition to Tort’s offensive style. It’s not like we are losing games 5-4. We’re getting beaten easily in low-scorning affairs. (2-1, 3-1, 2-1 (OT), 3-2, 3-2 (OT), and 2-1 over the last 6 games, 5 of them losses.) At least give the team a chance to succeed.
Or how about this? Punt on the season and play your attack system. BUT, do it with as many young players as possible. Players who actually have a chance of excelling in it. Bench those players — regardless of age, seniority, or salary — that won’t work in it. Play Lisin. Play Christensen. Play Anisimov. Play Gilroy. Play Sanguinetti. Play Grachev. Some may not be ready. Some may get beaten like rented mules (that phrase never gets old). Some ultimately may fail. But give them a chance. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither were the Blackhawks, Penguins, or Red Wings. Let’s start building.
In somewhat related news, ESPN reports that the Rangers are considering trading for a veteran back-up goalie, such as Martin Biron. In a vacuum, fine. But Biron has a $1.4 million cap hit. Really, we are using our precious cap space on a back-up goalie??? Is this wise? If Sather can find $1.4 million on the roster, how about using it for someone that can score.