Yes, yes, yes...We like these guys and the position we're in. But, fellow Ranger Fans, it's time for us to face the "Devil" and give him his due. I don't mean New Jersey's team and I don't mean Satan himself. I can only offer you the next closest thing...No; not Jim Dolan. I'm talking about Glen Sather.
But before I do something stupid and regret it...like crediting Glen Sather for anything, let's put on our Blueshirts and look at this in a totally biased manner.
The plan, as always with Glen Sather, was to spend big money and then watch the team fail and get hurt. The 2010-2011 RUIN STONES called for high-priced Chris Drury coming back from surgery and giving this team another year of nothing. The STONES of Sather called for an expensive 35 year old, injured winger named Prospal to miss the first four months of the season. Not to mention, Sather's ancient Stones still called for ruing the glory that is the Rozsival contract and being thankful for the still lingering euphoria of Redden's deal (just in case anyone forgot that one). Fate dealt Sather a blow when Scott Gomez was swapped out for Marion Gaborik. Otherwise, Sather's failure would stand nearer to being complete. But even Gaborik felt Sather's displeasure and eventually acquiesced by succumbing to injury for a lengthy spell earlier this season. And of course , the Crowning Achievement of Glen Sather's Post-Cap ruin..I mean reign, is not re-signing COLTON ORR!! He is still paying for Donald Brashear while having to import an out of shape, over-weight, former "pugilist" Hockey Champ; Derek Boogaard, who impressed absolutely no-one while in a Ranger jersey as he was continually getting the worst in his bouts against opposing players and his playing time. And I might add, all for the same money they could have signed Orr for.. Tortorella continually limited Boogaard to 2:30 minutes a night otherwise he could have been even worse for us. Shame on Torts. But again, to Sather's credit, Boogaard too, has recently been lost to a lengthy injury just like the others. What a great waist of money by Sather covering up for the Colton Orr gaffe a full two years later! Bravo!!
But gone are Sather's earlier triumphs of the decade. Aah, the days of our Little Head Coach Tom Renny; our little Hartford call-ups like Petr Prucha, Domenic Moore, Hollweg, Ortmeyer.....adnausiam. And how Coach Renny positioned his modern-millennium Smurfs on the wide hips of the Paleolithic Hockey, Pre-Cap Age survivor, Jaromir Jagr, like lil' birds on the hips of a hippo, hitching a ride. Nothing lasts forever folks.
While we were all miserably drifting and bobbing about on our ocean of tears, hopelessly pondering one Stanley Cup Championship in the last 70 years, Sather did something horribly wrong to alter the plan on us.
They say necessity is the mother of all invention. But with Coach Tortorella, it's been more a matter of trying to run away from impending doom. He's ruining everything Glen Sather sat on his ass to achieve. He came here as a Coach who garners just enough respect from players and one who can impose his will on a team. And he's been doing just that with our team. Damn him!
It was Coach Torts who came in here like Big Bad Bart in a Black Hat and stuck his spurs into Sather's loins...so to say. The slashing and burning of the Ranger landscape we all became accustomed to, got a big bucket of water dropped on it. Who exactly let John Tortorella sneak on TEX's RANGERS' RANCH is still unknown. But he needs to be trapped, roped and hog-tied before he's able to cause any more improvement around here and shed Glen Sather in a good light.
Everything was perfectly fine around here when Coach Renny was content being the minder of Sather's pig-pen of undersized sows with one big Hog in the middle. But they, Renny and Sather, got sloppy. Their Cash-Hog Star upped and squealed-off to Russia. Renny got caught in the ensuing raid, and is now in Coach Re-Location. He agreed to talk and said there was some talent the Boss didn't ruin yet and told TORTS where to find it.
Back at TEX's RANGERS' RANCH, from the rubble, Coach Torts was able to recover a Goalie, a Defenseman, and two young Forwards. He looked upon them and said, "They are good. This will be my Nucleus."
Since then, as if by some JEDI COACH mind trick, John Tortorella got Glen Sather to believe in kids again. It's as if Burger Meister Meister Burger was given a Yo-Yo for the first time.
Miraculously, Coach Torts got Sather to slow himself down and give kids a chance.
WHoooooaa Nelly! Like I said before, Necessity is the Mother of ALL Invention.
Glen Sather had no choice this season, and perhaps last season, to rely on so many rookies and young players as he has. If left to his own devices, he'd gladly pay for someone else to don a Blueshirt and get hurt while earning an absurd amount of money doing it. I'd venture to say he'd even pay some 37 year old from his own pocket, and under the table, to come play for the Rangers and suck! But that would be silly, so I'll refrain.
Here's the biggest difference. Coach Tortorella is making these kids matter and Coach Torts is the difference in their play being effective. Not only did Torts get Glen Sather to slam the brakes on his own lunacy, but he's done to the veterans what Tom Renny and Sather himself would not; keep them accountable.
Coach Torts has taken his biggest producers, skilled skaters, top goalies, high-priced talent, high potentials, and most disciplined players, as he has his worst head-cases and misfits, and pounded them all into fine powder. None has been excluded from the heat generated by The TORTS' Temper.
The players he has hounded most are the players, playing at their best. Young veteran; older veteran; Torts has molded or re-molded them all. His young players being called up all salivate for his instruction just like young impressionable men should be. Boys, Kids, young men, older men..., we all love ORDER if we know it's for the best and it works.
Coach Torts has not only, in a literal sense, physically molded Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky and Marc Staal into NHL Approved Men and League stars, he's taken "iron-workers" like Prust and Boyle and made them into difference makers for this Rangers team.
This is not a question of what Coach Torts wants, or demands his team to be in the ideal sense. This is all about what Coach Torts thinks this team CAN be with the personnel afforded to him by, a one Glen Sather, and the system he believes they can best employ to the best of their ability. He doesn't tell Prust and Boyle to adhere to his ideal game plan. He creates a system Prust and Boyle are good at to help us win.
He demands hard work, accountability and above all, discipline to the system and a trust in their team mates.
His players, don't appear..., they ARE responding to their Head Coach even though he's about as smooth as a Brillo Pad, (Just ask Larry Brooks). Whenever Coach Torts has felt compelled to come over to a player on the bench and pound him on the shoulder and back a couple of times, be it for motivation, confidence building, a wake-up call or an act of disgust in a player, no one has yet seemed to mind at all. That means they are all on board. Even the contentious relationship between him and Sean Avery has seemed to find a middle ground in-which the two exist. The fact is Avery is a good player and even Torts knows it.
But you must look at the home-grown and over-all youth on this team and correlate the quantity of it on the roster with the quality of their play on the ice to John Tortorella. Injuries have presented many of the kids with an opportunity but Coach Torts put them all in positions tailored for them and the boys have responded with responsible play for their Coach and team. The fact is we have only 5 skaters 30 years of age or older on the roster as of today.
Who are those thirty-somes? Rozsival-32; Prospal-35; Drury-34; Fedotenko-31; and Avery-30.
There is no doubt Michael Del Zotto needed to go to Connecticut. He knew it as well. And Torts was correct in saying the best thing for him is to play; but play for the Whale. The boy is only 20 years old and will have another day. And Christensen is still a work in progress.
But look around and the evidence is clear, Coach Torts has the attention of his youngsters and the entire team.
Artem Anisimov; Stepan; Weise; Zuccarello, Saur; have all given more in effort and results back to their Coach than Frolov, Boogaard, Drury, Prospal, Rozsival and Redden have given back to their General Manager.
Sure Sather has chips with his name on them before Coach Torts took over the thinking-man's part of our Operation. But Coach Torts has cashed those chips in the most. These Over-Time and Shoot-Out wins used to be Ranger losses back in the third periods of games. These Rangers are fighting the fight by consistently grinding out everything they do. Torts has turned it into a way of life for them and it's working.
The hope here is that maybe Coach Torts has indeed gotten Sather to see the usefulness and enthusiasm of kids and the things they're willing to do as opposed to continually throwing bad money at the teams' problems and never addressing how they will get better while also ensuring old, over paid players rule the day.
Torts has come here like a raving but earnest Mason, and is trying to build a winner from the ground..up, brick by brick. If you want to blame anyone for the New York Rangers' fifty-one points and a 6th place positioning in the playoff bracket so far..., Blame Coach Torts for his instigations. He's your culprit. How dare he push and bull his players to 50+ points. Yea; his players...Look no further for his accomplices.
Rest assured Ranger fans, DARK DAYS have not escaped us yet. Be as sure with the knowledge the sun will rise tomorrow, as with this little piece of knowledge, - Glen Sather will ruin this team again with his Dollars and NON-Cents and we can all go back to our lives as usual.
How dare you get excited? Shame on you Ranger fan. Shame on us all!
NEW YORK RANGERS
ST. LOUIS BLUES
secure points number fifty-two and fifty-three.