Placing the blame on all the wrong things has become a trade mark for the Rangers! Last year it was Scotty Gomez. Who, in fact did his usual, nothing more and nothing less. Chris Drury who has been a flop since he came to New York deserves the criticism , Nikolai Zherdev who was shafted, and finally the head couch Tom Renney! Of cause GM Glen Sather taken the full blunt of it all.
This year is no different. As we see two career twenty plus goal scores come to New York and fail to produce goals and are traded away.
Yes a trade was indeed necessary. Yes something was needed to be done to stir up the pot. But, that something is stilled needed to be done. Nothing has been accomplished with this trade. When will the blame game stop and the correct reasons for the down fall of this team be addressed.
In a year where everyone expected Brandon Dubinsky to finally take off, Even lined up with two extremely good offensive players, Brandon has yet to flourish. With more then half the season over, Dubinsky has only eleven goals. Will he finally break the twenty goal mark? I doubt it. Once again, where do we place the blame. In Brandon’s case the problem is Brandon and his play! Its that simple!
Some want to blame Enver Lisin , Rookie Artem Anisimov and Brian Boyle . Hard to do when they hardly see any ice time.
So Sather tries to make some moves, trading away players that have been total flops since day one. Did the trade help the Rangers. No it didn’t
Did the trade in any way help the problem, that is the two main reasons this team will never be any better then they are today.? No it did not.
If you acquire a player that for his entire career has scored twenty plus goals a year and all of a sudden , he can not score, what does that tell you? If you acquire another player who for the most part has been a twenty goal scorer for his entire career and again can not score while with this team, what does that tell you?
There comes a time in the season where a coach needs to sit back , kick the feet up and be real with himself. You need to swallow your pride, and come to terms with the facts. In the case of John Tortorella the facts are simple. His ideas, his ways, his system, his demands and his ability to turn this team around has not worked. There comes a time where as a coach you do not look at yesterdays game but you look at the tapes from a year ago. You look to see why you choose to sign certain players. Why were they able to perform, what is the difference from last year when they were with other teams, that they can not produce here with you now.
It can be several things, from the way Tortorella runs his practices, the system, the way he is so determined to pick and choice who to bench and not to. Certain things start to affect players, what ever it is, it lies there within the Rangers team and not so much with the players, and how can anyone think differently.
John Tortorella needs to make his own adjustments as well. He needs to change the routine, the line ups everything. There is really no reason not to. The true goal scorers will score and the time has come to give the youngsters the chance to play.
Before the Ranger players even hit the ice, it starts with Tortorella. As soon as they hit the ice, and during the entire game, it is all about Tortorella. He tells them what to do and how to play. It is up to him to see what is needed and to make the correct changes and the right decisions. From that point on it is up to the players to put it together on the ice and make things happen. Tortorella is problem number one! From line ups, to game style, from the amount of time some players see the ice. Tort is a major problem!
Chris Higgins should really have 30 goals right now with all the posts he has hit. Should he have been traded, sure, why not? He wasn’t contributing to the team as expected. Yet this whole time here Tortorella played him more then players that have played harder and was more productive on the ice. Glad to see him and Kotalik gone.
The trade consisted of Ales Kotalik and Chris Higgins for Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust. Yes it helped make the Rangers first line a more solid line. Yes Olli is a much better puck handler, more experienced player that Brandon Dubinsky and Erik Christensen who I think has done a fine job so far. But what about the rest of the lines?
What line changes can Tortorella make that we have not seen so far. with the exceptions of moving Boyle and Lisin up in the line up and allowing them to see more ice time. Nothing Tortorella can do will change what has already been seen.
Chris Drury on the second line doing nothing, Dubinsky turning the puck over yet again. Cally behind the net controlling the puck and not scoring. The First line of Christensen , Gabby and Dubs actually clicked, but yet Tortorella changed it and never went back to it. Now you add another center with Olli, Prospal and Gabby will be on wings. The Rest of the lines will be the same none scoring lines that they have been. Lisin , Boyle and now Prust seeing little ice time. Or maybe not?
With Higgins and Kotalik gone, that leaves the third line open for Artem and Enver to play on the same line finally and the question of who will center or be the second winger is up in the air. Christensen would and should do very nicely there. It would be a very fast line that creates a lot of offense and scoring opportunities. Avery has played well with Artem so that is a possibility.
Brandon Prust is a middle weight tough guy. Another 5’11 185 lb player. He is not no major factor and he will not be. Yes I love the fact that this guy adds some toughness and will most definitely be looking to drop the gloves. He plays like a heavy weight and will fight anyone. He is not a player that will put that fear in a team, but he will add to the much needed toughness if played. But over all as Tort has proven, who knows how many games this guy will even play. I liked the move to add to the toughness, but what good does it do if Tort has him ride the bench.
Never mind the fact that now we have Brashear and Voros who will most likely be riding the bench, taking up spots on the roster. Voros has looked good in recent games and he should be allowed to improve and see more ice then he has. There is no reason to have tough guys if you do not use them. Never mind the fact that we still have no heavy hitters. All light weight tough guys.
Why was Glen Sather unable to trade for Dion Phaneuf ? Who did Calgary want that Sather said no? Part of the Rangers problems is the defense. Again Tortorella and Sather , most likely Tortorella more then Sather is more worried about offense then defense. Been his Trade mark all season. What difference will it make scoring 4 goals a game when you defense allows 5, in the end you still lose.
More trades are most definitely needed. The Rangers need to improve their defense with bigger and tougher guys. Players like a Dion Phaneuf that will not only drop the gloves but is also a great defensive player. Adding to his great scoring ability and offensive awareness, he is by far one of the top defenseman in the league. This is who the Rangers need to obtain, players like a Phaneuf to turn this team around.
If the Rangers GM and head coach really want to turn things up then they really should place Brashear , Wade Redden , and Michal Rozsival on the waiver sheet and send them down to Hartford. Bringing up new young blood both on defense and one on offense. But they also need to be allowed to show their stuff and be played not for just 3 minutes a game. The bottom line is they need to turn up the heat and that would be a great place to start.
The Rangers have 25 games to get a good look at Jokinen and after that he will be able to either walk or resign. He is 31 years old and on the downward spiral in the last couple of seasons. He is not as fast as he used to be, but still pretty quick. He still has a very good , accurate shot and is a player that can score from anywhere on the ice. But if all fails, the Rangers will be in better shape come the off season as far as salary cap is concerned. Over all the trade will help in the long run, as for right now, it will not make much of a difference.