It turns out that most of the folks who are dining with me today basically credited the play of the newly acquired with the fact that none of them attended a practice or team meeting with John Tortorella.
Still I will say that Ryan Clowe was better than I expected and honestly nothing like the player I watched playing on the San Jose Sharks. But I still don't like paying 3 draft picks for a player who the Rangers still might not be able to sign unless Clowe takes at least a 1 million dollar pay cut.
Still the one thing that Ranger fans can agree on with the Clowe trade and that was Brandon Prust's asking price turned out to be rather fair. If anything not resigning Prust last summer cost the Rangers much more when you factor in the Rangers having to give the Sharks those 3 picks.
And at the same time it does reflect on John Tortorella that Marian Gaborik would rather play in Columbus than remain a Ranger. One thing that stood out which is while those in the beat media describe Gaborik as "struggling", "under-preforming" or any other term that none could notice a relationship issue between Tortorella and Gaborik.
Yet as Andrew Gross said here after Chris Kreider was sent down to the CT Whale:
While the Rangers’ desire to properly develop Kreider and Miller is not at question, there is a growing perception of a disconnect between Tortorella and Kreider.
So how come nobody saw that happening between Tortorella and Gaborik? I mean really the coach moves Gaborik from his right wing spot to left wing and expects the same results?
Somebody needs to take the "Sometimes you do too much coaching" quote and tape it everywhere so John Tortorella can be reminded of it. I mention it because even Tortorella acknowledged after he was fired in Tampa that was part of his problem.
And sorry I am not going to play the "so this is what the Rangers paid to get Rick Nash" stuff because only one move sadly matters and that is the 3 draft picks for Ryan Clowe to replace Brandon Prust, John Mitchell, and Ruslan Fedotenko. I won't say that losing Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov was part of the problem because both players needed to be traded if not for Nash for someone else.
Dubinsky had to go mainly because between the constant trade rumors, the disconnect with the Ranger fans and his contract wore out his welcome in New York. I will always like him for what he helped me become but I knew it was time for him to go.
As for Anisimov; he had to go because the only thing consistent about his game was that it was always inconsistent. Nobody played his way up and down the depth chart like Anisimov as you never knew which player you were going to get.
So while I dine on this meal of crow, the tiny voice in the back of my head says it was just one game. Yes it was but it still was 2 points that the Ranger team that played on Monday would not have gotten.
Pass the ketchup please.
The prospects returned to playoff action or I should say just Mitchell Theoret (NYI 2011 7th) and his Barrie Colts as they opened their OHL Eastern Conference semifinals series with the Oshawa Generals by escaping with a 4-3 overtime win. Escaping is the right term as Oshawa let a 3-1 lead slip away in the 3rd period which allowed Barrie to keep their home ice advantage.
Theoret was scoreless in what is expected to be his last game on the Colt's top line as the suspension to Anthony Camara ended after this game. Camara missed the last 3 playoff games for the Colts and while a case might be made for Theoret to remain; Camara is a more physical player than Theoret.
Game 2 will be Friday.
The Islanders signed their 2011 3rd rd pick Andrey Pedan to the standard entry level contract and an ATO so he could join Bridgeport of the AHL. It will be interesting to see how Pedan handles the professional game but in some ways the pro game is more suited for Pedan's style of play.
The Rangers also signed newly signed Connor Allen to an ATO so he can join the CT Whale for the remainder of their season. Allen who comes to the Rangers from the UMass/Amherst Minutemen of the Hockey East conference will find that he has a chance to earn playoff playing time after Blake Parlett was sent to Columbus in the Gaborik trade.