Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mind games for $200 please

So what was the biggest topic being discussed regarding the New York Rangers on Tuesday? Was it the status of Brandon Dubinsky? Answer no.

Was it what the team needed to do in order to win game three? Answer no. So what exactly was the number one topic regarding the Rangers on Tuesday?

Whether or not John Tortorella was being rude (among other assorted comments) to the media. Now I freely admit that I don't like John Tortorella's methods whether it's coaching or how he deals with people.

But I have to give him some serious credit because even I fell for it for quite a while and that is John Tortorella took the pressure off his team by making himself the focal point of what everybody was talking about. John Tortorella did his job in protecting his team from the media asking about why they lost.

Pat Leonard who covers the Rangers for the Daily News is a good guy but he  devoted a blog post to Tortorella's behavior at the press conference. Tortorella did a masterful job of steering the media into making him the centerpiece of the Ranger news on the day off.

The playoffs yes they take on an almost CIA-style field operation when it comes to trying to find out information. We can only guess whether or not Brandon Dubinsky will play in game three or even if he's done for the playoffs.

It has to be frustrating to have to try to do your job with somebody who doesn't really care if you get your job done or not. Tortorella has always been combative when it comes to dealing with the media and we can argue for hours whether it's right or it's wrong.

It's playoffs and the time where fans want to know everything they can about the Rangers. Sadly it's also the time of the year when hockey coaches want to talk the least thus the fans lose out.

It's almost a mass paranoia the way hockey teams no matter what level act when it comes to basically talking about anything when it comes to the media at playoff time. You can watch player get hurt, breaking arm or take a shot to the head and the only thing that the team will say is that the player has "an upper body injury."

It was very entertaining to hear John Tortorella go "let's talk about the team" and then proceed to shoot down any attempt to really talk about the team. We don't know what he thinks about the penalty Brad Richards took that led to the game-winning goal for Washington.

We could ask John Tortorella 20 direct questions about the New York Rangers and can guarantee that at least half the questions will be answered with "I am not going to talk about that."

Still the mission is accomplished as nobody mentions the Rangers poor play nor does anyone talk about how they lost or what they need to do to win game three. John Tortorella will most likely be the only coach in NHL history who will not answer questions after the Rangers win the Stanley Cup.

But if it's something that takes the pressure off his team then how can we be angry at what Tortorella is doing? Answer we can't as long as the team responds with better play.


As expected Dylan McIlrath (NYR 2010 1st) arrived in Hartford and signed his ATO to join the CT Whale. We don't think he'll play in game one of the Whale's second-round opener but he will play at some point.

You don't bring in the first-round draft picks just for them to sit and watch.

While McIlrath is joining, two other prospects are heading home as the Whale released the Rangers two 2011 fifth round picks, Shane McColgan and Samuel Noreau from their ATOs.

It's not a big deal that both were released because the common practice to bring in players just take a look at how they're doing then letting them go home when they're not going to play. It's chance to give these kids some rest time before they have to start right back up with the training.

Both McColgan and Noreau will be back in New York during the first week of July for the Rangers annual rookie/prospect camp.


Jay said...

Who cares about the New York press, whose main objective is always to write something that creates controversy. I'll take Torts over any of the sportswriters/gossip columnists any day.

Jess Rubenstein said...


Besides Larry Brooks can you please name any member of the New York hockey media who creates controversy?

And actually you do care Jay otherwise you would not be reading anything about the Rangers whether it is here or any place else.