Tuesday, March 2, 2010

4 Lessons Torts should take from Vancouver

Can you believe it, boys and girls? There is a Ranger Hockey game tonight. After two weeks of Olympics – our Blueshirts are finally at it again.

But as Gaborik, Lundqvist, a (clean shaven) Bronze medal-ed Jokinen, and Silver medalists Drury and Callahan become teammates once again – the big question is:

Has John Tortorella learned anything in Vancouver?

Because if he was paying attention – he sure should have. And if he did – it might just make the difference between the Rangers making or missing the playoffs this year:

Lesson # 1: Rest Lundqvist. It's not as simple as this but – in the Olympics when Lundqvist was given a game off he responded – twice – with shut outs. And when he was asked to play back to back games he collapsed – letting in 4 goals on 14 shots. I know Hanks likes to play all the time. But the numbers show he;s better when he doesn't. And now that Sather finally got an experienced backup in Alex Auld – there's really no excuse any longer. Try resting Hank one out of every three games and see what happens.

Lesson #2: change your coaching style with Chris Drury. On the Olympic team Chris Drury looked like a new man – or more accurately – like the old Chris Drury. The Ranger captain looked loose, relaxed, and – yes – happy - on the Olympic team. And he scored twice and notched an assist as well. So hopefully Tortorella got to see whatever it was that got Chris going in Vancouver and - and John should do his best to keep him going the same way in New York - even if it means adjusting his coaching style.
Lesson # 3 : Get Olli Jokinen to keep that Mustache off. Minus that sinister Fu Manchu "stache" Joki suddenly caught fire, scoring 3 goals. My bold prediction: Make sure Olli's facial hair is “Finnished” for the season and he'll keep that scoring touch.
Lesson #4: Figure out what the Slovak's did to get Gaborik going - and copy it. On the Rangers the Gifted One was slumping. In the Olympics – despite two injuries – Gabby scored 4 goals and notched an assist despite fighting off two injuries. John – figure out what Slovakia was doing to free up Gaborik - and plagiarize it.
We know you can do it Torts. I'm sure your Olympic time was something you'll never forget. And - you got to experience a different head coaching style than your own from the inside - a chance you may never get again. So, please John - Try to learn from it. You're a great head coach - but everyone can benefit from an open mind and a little self tweaking.

Okay - my heartfelt plea is completed - And now – we resume our regular post Olympic programming

Who The Hell Are We Playing? Ah -yes – that feels good to say after a two week hiatus. The Ottawa Senators have won 14 of 16 games – but of course that was before everybody sat around for two weeks watching the Olympic games. So it's no longer a “hot streak”.

The Senators are 36-23-4 in 3rd place in the Eastern Division – looking down at the 10th place Rangers.

Primary Skaters: Mike Fisher and Milan Michalek have 20 goals each. Dan Alfredson has 32 assists. Nick Foligno is +13.

In Net: Brian Elliot is the primary goaltender with a 2.59 GAA and a .910 save percentage.
Scoring & Defense:

The Senators have scored 178 goals to our 161. And they've let up 179 goals to our 169.

Special Effects: Ottawa is 16.1% on the PP (we are 18.1) and they are 83.3% on the PK to our 84.6%

Scheduling Conflicts: Olympic break – so everybody rested except the all stars.

Probable Lines: Not sure yet – but I like Olli and Gabby on separate lines.


On Defense: Corey Potter is up with the big club/ Del Zotto had 50 stitches taken out of his chest and should be ready to go.


In Goal: We should see Auld – eventually and hopefully soon – but figure we get Hank tonight.

Dave Puck Predicts: We win 3-1. Hank gets mad and almost shuts the Senators out.


  1. I agree, Hank needs some time off.

    How can the rest of the world watch the game tonight? I'm in SD and jonesing for some Hank face time.

  2. Hey! HLH! Good to hear from you. San Diego, eh? Your best bet is to find a free internet feed - which may be of course entirely against the law. Officially I can't condone this type of behavior. But I can officially advise you NOT to look at www.TBN.com for example - which has been known to show free feeds of Ranger Games. There are others too - Good luck.