Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tort's Reforms - how to re-make the Rangers as Champions - part 1 - "Intense Forechecking System"

Coaches... well, they coach. But how they coach - the decisions they make - and how those decisions play out - separate the good coaches from the bad ones.

Even though It seems like Tom Renny has been gone forever, John Tortorella only coached 21 regular season Ranger games before entering the playoffs here. There's only so much a coach can do in the last quarter of the season.

But this year, his first full season at the Ranger helm is another story. And Tortorella is planning on making a lot of changes this time around. Those changes - John's coaching philosophy - will form (or re-form) the Ranger team that we will live and die with next season.

In a recent interview with Stan (ban the slapshot) Fishler, Tortorella gave a few clues about how he will remake the Rangers in his own image.
First of all: Attack."We're going to play with tempo; an attack-type style. Defense starts when you don't have the puck. We'll have an intense forechecking system" This is a key element in Tortorella's master plan. Last year under Renny the Rangers were endlessly on defense - always defending - almost like they were constantly short-handed. Next year's model will try play defense by playing offense. Because when the puck in on your opponent's zone - it's much harder for them to score on you.

And the forecheck. Instead of playing back on their skate-heels, your New York Rangers will come aggressively into their opponent's zone - challenging for the puck.

It's a lot like a full court press in basketball. It's an exhausting style to play - but it can exhaust and demoralize your opponents as well. But to make it work, you need young, well conditioned players. And Torts has already contacted his players to get ready for a physically challenging training camp.

So, win or lose, it should be interesting - because Tortorella's Rangers will come after you.

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