Thursday, April 15, 2010

Torts Right On Shootout

We say: John Tortorella was dead right on the shoot out - even if the Rangers were shoot-out-ed right out of the playoffs last Sunday.

With the Flyers and Rangers tied at 1 and headed to the 5 minute 4-on-4 Overtime period, the Ranger Coach told his players to try to score but not to take wild chances that would leave us vulnerable on defense. His thinking was that we'd have an advantage if we could last until the shoot out.

And I agree with Torts on this one. Our record in the 5 minute overtime has been terrible this year. And the Flyers had outshot us nearly 2-1 in regulation. So - yes - we would seem to have a better chance in the shootout - where we have Lundqvist and they have Boucher and both sides get the same number of shots.

But now - after we lost in the shoot out - everybody and his brother has been all over Tortorella for not using Gaborik - his leading scorer - as one of the three Ranger shooters.

Not fair - we say. Tortorella used the same lineup he had played in our last shootout. Christensen, Parenteau, and Jokinen have the team’s best percentages in shoot out goals.
Gaborik is just 2 for 18 lifetime. Parenteau, by comparison, is an amazing 3 for 3.

Tortorella has held Gaborik out of the shootout before - and he's indicated in the past that he's slated as our number 4 - which he would have been Sunday if only.... (you know).

So I don't think you can fault John here. He had the intelligence to have thought this through in advance - and already had a Shoot Out order in his head before the game started.

And there was nothing in Gaborik's performance Sunday that would make Tortorella want to move Marian up. Gabs did not have a good game - didn't score - and didn’t generate offense.

Look - in general - teams score on shootouts less than half the time. And the Rangers got a goal. It's just that an exhausted Lundqvist, after 47 saves, had nothing left in the tank.

Look, you can blame some things on the head coach - but second guessing his shootout choices now - after he's been consistent with them for several games - doesn’t seem fair to me.

This is a coach that has won the Stanley Cup, okay? And you gotta love that he tells the press - and us - almost everything he's thinking. That is a rare commodity - something unheard of in the modern era of say-nothing "coach speak." Torts really lets us in on what's going on in his head and behind the scenes at the Rangers - and we here at Blueshirt Brothers appreicate it.

So yes – we all felt bad watching Olli Jokinen not score with the entire season on the line. But no – we don’t blame coach for putting him out there. And if Olli-Jo had just made the shot – well, don’t get me started again…
Scoreboard: I'm still bummed out from Sunday - but I was happy to see Ottawa beat Pittsburgh 5-4 last night. The Flyers - with a rejuvinated Boucher - beat the Devils and I was almost happy about that. The Red Wings fell to the Coyotes 3-2, and the Avalanche beat the Sharks 2-1.
Tonight we get: Bruins-Sabres, Canadiens-Caps, and Kings-Canucks.

1 comment:

  1. Dare I hope for another early exit for the Devils this year? How long before everyone realizes that Brodeur is washed up?