The New York Rangers Are Shaken

Tonight's Healthy ScratchesCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2009

WASHINGTON - APRIL 15:  Head Coach John Tortorella of the New York Rangers discuses strategy during a stoppage of play against the Washington Capitals during Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 15, 2009 at the Verizon Center in Washington,  DC.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)
Len Redkoles/Getty Images

When things get stale, shaking them up is one of the best ways to make them fresh again.

Too much shaking, however, can make them confused, baffled, and flustered.

John Tortorella has added too much shake, no bake.

The constant line shuffles have thwarted the Rangers' ability to establish any sort of chemistry. I'm not talking about from game-to-game either. When it comes to lines, Tortorella is more erratic than a highlight read by Dick Vitale and Chris Berman.

How are the Rangers supposed to generate a consistent offensive strike when the only constant is a revolving door of linemates?

I understand that the Rangers need secondary scoring, but how is that going to happen when they don't even know who their secondary is?

Not only is the perpetual line-changing hurting the Rangers, the way the minutes are being distributed is equally killing the team—literally.

Torts said he "doesn't buy" that players aren't capable of playing 23-plus minutes a game. Well, that's true, players are capable of playing that many minutes per game—they're called defensmen.

Notice who scored the lone goal for the Rangers Wednesday night against the Islanders, Enver Lisin. How many minutes did he play?

Barely over nine minutes.

That is simply unacceptable. Especially for somebody who is trying to prove he belongs and un-scapegoat himself.

Anisimov? Eight minutes. Kotalik hardly played three even-strength minutes.

Why is Donald Brashear in the lineup if he's not going to play—or fight?

Tortorella infuriatingly insisted that there would be changes before Thursday's rematch against the Islanders.

The only thing I could think of, and hope for, is that he finally does what we all hoped he would when he came to the helm of the Blueshirts—hold players accountable.

"There has to be something done and we'll see what we go with before tomorrow night's game...it's simply unacceptable," said Tortorella.

He needs to send a direct message to the team—a clear message. Chris Drury needs to be benched tomorrow. Regardless if he is the cause to the Rangers horrible play, his benching would clearly send a message.

If Drury is going to play like a checking-line center, then he deserves checking-line center minutes.

Not only does Drury need to be benched, but benching one of the "top"—and I use that term loosely—defensemen need to be bench. Wade Redden's coverage on the first Islander's goal was horrific. Michal Rozsival was beaten to just about every puck and lost nearly every battle in the corner.

And by no means does Henrik Lundqvist deserve any of the blame, but he also needs to be benched tomorrow—out of respect.

A very stern, clear, crisp message needs to be sent to this team—and it needs to happen now.

Shake this team up.

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