John Tortorella. Oh, the mastermind of the empire city that is New York. The savior of all things hockey for the New York Rangers, supplementing a winning record and producing stardom results. Accountability they say, and so it shows often in his coaching regime.
Though sometimes, we look past the negatives and focus primarily on the positives. How has his offensive-minded, up-tempo system suited Marc Staal for that matter? Not very well. Where is the defensive stalwart we saw under coach Tom Renney the last two years?
Staal might be as pale as Casper the Ghost, but we don't want him disappearing a la the magic trick of the rabbit-in-the-hat. We used to watch dazzlingly as Staal would chase down the puck in his own end against 2 forechecking forwards, and come out with the puck. Sure, he's putting up more points than the last two years, clearly because of the offensive system that John Tortorella ensues, as evidence of his 7 points (2 goals) in only 18 games thus far. However, color me pessimistic in this system helping Marc Staal in the long run. I'd rather see him highlight his strengths and work slowly on his miscues in development (shot accuracy, passing in the offensive zone).
You seldom are able to convince players to publicly state that a coach is denying their development as a player by thwarting him of his strengths. That's just what Marc Staal must be thinking now, as he readies himself for a showdown against the forceful return of star forward Ilya Kovalchuk and the Thrashers tonight, invading their way into the garden faithful.
Please, John, let's stay away from trying to make every player of yours an "all-around player", and let him stick to what he does best, his defense, moving the puck from behind the red-line in his defensive zone past the blueline almost effortlessly.
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