It was truly a much more entertaining performance than any Ranger coach has given during the Sather era to explain (or not explain) why he the coach can not get a highly paid roster to give him a full 60 minutes of effort.
Tom Renney used to double talk and look lost when he was ask to explain this. Bryan Trottier would ask to see his handwritten fax to see if an answer was there.
Ron Low would just shake his head and wonder why nobody listened to him. Glen Sather would simply claim that the Ranger fans were so mean that the players were scared to play.
No Tortorella just made sure he had himself an excuse to not really answer the questions by throwing a hissy fit. It worked too because the Ranger media really did not want to ask him anything tough out of the concern that Tortorella might lose his cool.
The problem is the answer as to why the players can not be forced into giving that full 60 minute effort is simple; they do not fear losing their jobs. They know that nobody wants them in a trade; that the management is not going to call up the kids in Hartford to replace.
As it has been for over a decade, the Ranger players simply have no incentive to bust their tails. It has not matter who was the coach, it has not mattered who was the GM as at the end of the day they still got paid.
Every year I watch a struggling team in either the juniors or the NCAAs do something that the Rangers lack the courage to do. To send a message to their entire team they healthy scratch a team leader.
Last season it was Kelowna who scratched Tysen Dozak for a game; it was a message that the entire team got because the team turned their entire season around. Sure people are sayting that you can not do this at the NHL level; that it would cause problems.
Rick Tocchet the coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning benched Alex Tanguay and Jeff Halphern on Tuesday evening against Nashville. Here is what he said as to why:
"It's a situation where it's a shock thing for everybody or … I really don't care what the message is other than the fact that we need results. We need to be able to play 60 minutes, not 30 minutes. And because we are down a goal everybody does their own program. Ultimately, that falls on me, so we are going to find guys who can stick with the plan."
It did not lead to a win for the Lightning but it is exactly what the Rangers need to do on Thursday evening against the Islanders. Scratch Chris Drury, scratch Ales Kotalik and give someone like Erik Christensen who is fighting for his NHL life the spot.
Send the message to the team that nobody's job is safe as that in all honesty is what has kept the Rangers from getting 60 minutes of effort for the last 12 years. Take away that cloak of protection from the players and make them worry if there is someone going to actually take their job away if they do not work hard.
Take away the perks of being a Ranger until the team earns them like the optional skates and practices. Take away the cutesy coffee shop they have at the practice facility and other perks that go along with being a Ranger.
Stop treating them like royalty and force them to go out and earn the perks with their effort.
Or else we can start talking about who the Rangers will select with their lottery pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft now.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Chris Doyle (2008 5th) scored a shorthanded goal at 15:45 of the 3rd period to tie the game but his Prince Edward Island Rocket could not stop the Rimouski Oceanic in the shootout and lost 5-4.
It was Doyle's first shorthanded goal in over 2 seasons and his 15th goal of the season. Overall other than on his faceoffs, Doyle played a pretty good game.
Besides the goal, Doyle was a -1, had 3 shots on goal, 3 "good" hits and scored the only shootout goal for the Rocket. On faceoffs though Doyle was 3-7 which is understandable since he really is not a center.
Doyle improves to 15-17-32 on the season.
Sam Klassen (2009 UFA) had a secondary assist as his Saskatoon Blades earned a 4-1 win over the Kelowna Rockets. Klassen has a 3 game scoring streak going with 4 assists in his last 3 games.
On the season Klassen is 3-14-17 and a prospect leading +21.
(Doyle courtesy of Katherine Eps)