Last night wasn’t pretty for the New York Rangers as they found themselves losing in embarrassing fashion 5-4 in a shootout to the Eastern Conference bottom dwellers, the Atlanta Thrashers.
But it didn’t start out all that bad, but even when the Rangers were winning, things just were not going right.
The first five minutes of the game found itself to be a very interesting one at that. There were four penalty calls and a disallowed goal for each team, what had started out as a fast paced exciting game turned out to be drastically slowed down by the referees.
The Rangers were chasing their tails around in that first period, getting seriously outplayed and outclassed by a sub par opponent, but even after that, they still left with a 1-0 lead after the first period. Head coach John Tortorella was not pleased.
When the first period intermission report came on MSG Network, the broadcast crew awaited a Ranger player to show up on camera for a quick intermission interview, but there was none. Deb Placey and John Gianonne would later reveal that no player was allowed out of the locker room.
Their head coach was blowing a gasket, for lack of a less salty phrase. Would Tom Renney have done that if his team was winning 1-0? I highly doubt it as his calm demeanor would be all too pleased just to have a one goal lead.
The Rangers would respond in the second period with three unanswered goals to take a 4-1 lead, but that would be their last hurrah as the Thrashers would get a late second period goal to make it 4-2, and then score two more in the third period to tie the game before winning in the shootout.
I couldn’t wait to hear Tortorella’s press conference after the game, and about a half hour later, there it was.
John Gianonne asked him something to the effect of, “Was there a noticeable difference in play from when the team was up 4-1 compared to 4-4?” to which the head coach responded with, “Yeah, I thought we sucked. Right on through the game I thought we were fortunate to get a point, very fortunate to get that.”
A follow up question was later asked about what his thoughts were on the players reactions to the slip in play. He answered, “I don’t give a sh*t what the guys talked about. We sucked.”
As a fan, it was almost worth losing just to hear those statements. After having a coach for the three seasons prior who I often wondered if he had a pulse, it’s great to hear this coach just flat out tell it like it is.
Larry Brooks has since called out the head coach in his daily Rangers article today by calling his comments, “Bush league.” I guess that’s how the media feels about dealing with the previous head coach who would use 50 fancy words just to say, ‘We sucked.'”
Greg Caggiano is happy to be the newest blogger here on Ranger Nation. He also hosts an online hockey radio show called Rinkside.