Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The maybe I am sorry tour

New York Rangers
I asked this question about New York Ranger's coach John Tortorella on Facebook on Tuesday and I wonder about it:

Not being sarcastic or anything but am I the only one who thinks John Tortorella is on some kind of damage control tour?

It seems that everywhere I turn there's John Tortorella talking about his relationship, or lack of with the media. The latest was an appearance on Bob Costas show on the NBC Sport's Network taped prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Tortorella says a couple of things that are worth thinking about because he does raise a couple of points. Check out the video for yourself.

The first is that right after a game Tortorella is given all of 10 minutes before he has to face the media. Given the situations, the pressures and even the outcomes then it is unfair to ask Tortorella to face the media that quickly.

I am the first to admit that I'm no fan of the way Tortorella can treat the media but I have to acknowledge that Tortorella raises one hell of a question. I don't understand nor do I think it's right that Tortorella is expected, probably before he's even gotten a chance to talk to the team that he has to face the media, especially during the playoffs.

What harm would it be to give Tortorella or any NHL coach,  an extra 5 to 10 minutes to gather their thoughts before facing the media. If you stop and think for a second then you realize that the NHL and NBC is trying to squeeze two coaches postgame reactions right into their 30 minutes allotted for postgame show.

It does shed new light into whether or not John Tortorella is being set up for failure. Just because I don't like him as coach or again how he treats the media doesn't mean that the way he's being set up is right or fair.

The other is that Tortorella says he hasn't been pressured by anybody into making these appearances and statements, but you really have to wonder about that.

The wording in each of the main appearances that we've all seen is almost repeated over and over. The same questions, the same answers and that doesn't look good because it does look like somebody is pushing Tortorella into doing these appearances.

And if that truly is the case then it's wrong because whether I like him or not, John Tortorella does have rights. It's not fair to turn him into a public whipping boy because he admittedly does have problems dealing with the media.

It's also sad that in each of the appearances that Tortorella is forced to defend his team's play. Again I don't like shotblocking and it is for the reasons that Bob Costa stated the risk and the screening.

As others have noted the New York Rangers were fourth in the NHL last season in shotblocking, but yet you never see anybody talking about any other team. Why is that is a question that needs to be asked.

Nobody's talking about the Los Angeles Kings defense and the job they're doing on the New Jersey Devils. For the record, Los Angeles has blocked 41 shots to New Jersey's 39 in the first 3 games of the series.

But yet it is John Tortorella and the New York Rangers who everybody is pointing the fingers at. That too is also wrong and I can guarantee you this much.

What ever tweaks the NHL GM's try to make to open up the game for more offense; there is going to be a coach who will find a way to stop it and defend against it. Once that coach does it then others will copy it because the coaches don't care about pretty hockey, they caring about winning and keeping their jobs.

If you want a really bring more offense to the games then increase the size of the ice rinks to the international standard. The bigger the rink the more space there is to create.

By the way, there's only 16 shopping days left until the 2012 NHL entry draft, so it's time to get a review in on both Ranger and Islander prospects to see how Gordie Clark and Garth Snow will not pick the players we think they should.


Jay said...

Jess, If you increase the size of the rinks, you cut down on enforcers and fighting. Do you think Bettman would allow that?

Jess Rubenstein said...


Actually what Bettman and the owners are more afraid of is removing 1-2 thousand seats to make way for bigger ice surface.

Fighting won't stop no matter what size rink but it would force enforcers to be actual players too