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Usually I agree with just about everything coach Tortorella does and says, tonight, however, I emphatically disagree with him. Torts seemed fairly disgusted with the team performance in his post game interview. He seemed to be on the verge of calling out certain players for poor play but did not do so. Personally I don’t think we played all that poorly. True, there were surges by both teams along the way, but that’s true of almost every game every team plays all year long (though granted, not as extreme as tonight). However to me the only reason the game was as close as it was, was due to some pretty horrific goaltending by Martin Biron, whom the coach did not want to call out. Biron should have had all 3 goals, or at least made better attempts to save them. Unlike Henrik there weren’t deflections in front of him, he simply misplayed every goal. It happens, thats why he is the backup goalie and not the starter. You take out those 3 goals, and this was a 6-2 ass whooping by the Rangers.

I think it was clear to everyone who watched that Sean Avery was the best player on the ice for either team. He was an absolute monster out there, unstoppable with his drive and determination. Even though I disagree with Torts’ thoughts on the game itself, he has an uncanny ability to feel the game (most night) with which player is going, and which players are not, and diverting ice time as such. This was something Tom Renney was, and still is, abysmal at. Renney was a guy who rode his horses, through thick and thin. Torts will ride whichever players give the team the best chance to win that night. That is why he is a Stanley Cup, Calder Cup, and Silver Medal winning coach (and assistant coach), and why Tom Renney hasn’t accomplished jack in his career. Torts’ feel for the game was on display again when he pulled Biron and put in Henrik. It paid immediate dividends as the Rangers never trailed again 51 seconds after that point. Henrik gave the chance to win in net, Biron didn’t. Torts saw it, and made the move.

I’d like to point out that I can’t really remember the last time the Rangers had a coach that could win the team games with his managing on a fairly consistent basis. Renney couldn’t, Muckler couldn’t, Trottier couldn’t, Sather sure as hell couldn’t. Might have to go all the way back to Keenan to go to a coach who could influence the outcome, mid-game like that.

But still, I disagree with his post game assessment ;-)


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