Torts uttered that statement after the Rangers were DOMINATED 5-1 by the revamped Tampa Bay Lightning. He said his team had no consistency. Quite frankly (as Tom Renney used to say...constantly), he's right.
We started the season losing to the Pens, dominated for the next two weeks, and have played average hockey since. What type of team do we have here?
Are the 2009-2010 Rangers a team that will miss the playoffs? Are they a team that can outwork their opposition? Who knows. But, here are the catalysts, good and bad, of our team.
We all know what he's capable of. Healthy...is 50 goals out of the realm of possiblity? As of now, he's on pace for 60! Ridiculous.
However, all teams have No. 1 units teeming with chemistry.
Last year, Kunitz, Crosby, and Guerin was unstoppable.
Before that, Zetterberg and Datsyuk couldn't be stopped.
How about Staal and Cole?
Lecavalier and St. Louis?
Is Gaborik and Prospal truly good enough to last an entire season and beat the rest of the NHL elite? HUGE question mark.
Gabs' injury prone past will be a question mark all year, and Prospal's never really put up gigantic numbers. There seemingly is no third person to finish complementing that line.
I'd love to throw Drury between Prospal and Gabs. As much as every Ranger fan is partial to hating him...I say let him earn his money. We know Gabs and Prospal feed off one another...Drury is just good at making intelligent decisions with the puck.
I can't imagine him doing anything but helping to create that line into a better two-way powerhouse. Plus...he's getting $7 million this year. He SHOULD be tried at the No. 1 position.
I NEVER would have thought Parenteau would be sticking around. He, Anisimov (another guy playing solid hockey), and Avery seems to be a good unit. However, can Parenteau keep it up?
If he can, you might see Enver Lisin sit. Man, the kid can fly... but can he finish? A lot of sparks, but no fire.
Avery has looked SOLID this season. He started playing nice and rough, which all fans wanted to see again. Give him more minutes...PLEASE!
Maybe Torts will keep Avery-Anisimov-Parenteau as a unit. If not, either Cally, Higgins, or Lisin can slip into Parenteau's role if he regresses. Speaking of Higgins though...
I'm tired of this guy. Rumors circulated that we were looking to trade him for Todd Marchant. I don't know if I like that idea...but maybe Higgins, and Sanguinetti for Bobby Ryan (who's rumored to be available)? Just a thought.
We have Higgins signed for one year at $2.5 million. You think he'll ask for less? You think he's worth even that at this point?
He's on pace for eight goals. Nothing more needs to be said. Package him, Rozy, and a high pick for a solid defensive defenseman.
Cam Barker's available. Brent Seabrook might also be available. If Calgary struggles, how about Robyn Regehr? This takes us to...
What is Michal Roszival still doing on this team? Already being benched once, and making countlessly terrible plays...what true positives has he brought? He was once our No. 1 offensive defenseman. Each of the other five defenseman we have today, not even including Sangs, is higher on the depth chart.
Rozy brings nothing to the table. At one point he helped to keep Jaromir Jagr comfortable. Now he makes all of us at home cringe. We a NEED veteran player who can bring stability to the blueline. He does not, pure and simple.
I wonder if Don Maloney, a guy shown to be quite loyal to his former players, would take Rozy and a mid pick for Jovo?
I mentioned a few other players being available...how about Garnet Exelby? He might be as mistake prone as Rozy, but at least he'll throw a damn good shoulder check.
I don't know if benching Rozy and playing Sangs is the answer but I do know one thing...Rozy brings nothing to the table, and no fan would be unhappy to see him go.
At the end of the day, I know one thing...we have to improve. I've said in all my articles that the keys to winning are youth and chemistry. Artem, shown above, has played above many of our expectations. As has Del Zotto, Gilroy and Parenteau. Others have played terribly.
Choices have to be made. EVERY YEAR it seems that we go through massive turnover. Do I agree with that being a solid philosophy? Of course not...chemistry can never be made. What I do think needs to happen, is the Rangers have to clear out the deadwood. Anisimov plays better...you elevate him and bench Higgins. What's the problem with that? Wasn't that Torts' way?
I know, according to Micheletti, that Sather's been burning the phone lines...but then how come a kid like TJ Hensick is allowed to pass through wavers?
I say let's play our youth and go with that. If we miss the playoffs, then we miss the playoffs. But at least our team has grown together.
Gomez wasn't the answer, and it seems like neither is Chris Drury. Sadly, we seem to be stuck with them. We had some of our most enjoyable seasons, after Sather purged the Rangers right before the lockout. Quebec played terrible for a few years, and then they became the monster that was the mid 90's Avalanche.
Detroit also was nothing special in the 80's, and then dominated the next 15 years. Give the youth a chance...teach them how to play CONSISTENT hockey, and let's grow from there.