I respect John Tortorella. Been a fan of his before he joined our team, and an even bigger fan of his now that he is the coach of our team. But I respectfully disagree with not only the way he coached this game, but in his post game comments. He thought the third line was his best line, yet they were on for all 3 goals against. He said AA is missing “everything” from his game right now, yet he has nearly double the points of any of the 3rd line players. Has AA been struggling a bit as of late? Sure. That’s as much his fault as it is Derek Stepans fault who hasn’t been playing all that well either. The fact of the matter is, I think Torts started to meddle with the lines when that really didn’t need to happen. The Rangers dominated the first period, and played a pretty even 2nd period. It wasn’t until Torts started screwing with all the lines that the momentum really shifted in their direction. I just didn’t see the need for it. I think we praise Torts a lot for being proactive with stuff, but it’s not as if the Senators were just overwhelming us with pressure and Henrik was a one man gang back there. No, the fact is, We probably should have been leading this game till Torts started to play musical chairs with the lines. I really think this is a game that Torts lost for us. Both with his line meddling, and with his overuse of the 3rd line. Just because they kept the puck in the opposing zone for long periods of time doesn’t mean they played a great game. They were all minuses across the board. Brian Boyle couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn right now. I think THAT is the line that needed a little tinkering. Get someone who can finish on that line. Maybe put Richards between the other 2 for a few shifts just to see how he does there. Carl Hagelin was carrying that line anyway. His speed and his board play are superb, he works so hard, and outmuscles guys who physically dominate the 6’7″ center on that line.
This game isn’t going to change my opinion of the coach 1 iota. I still think he’s one of, if not the best coach in the NHL. I still believe in his philosophy, and trust him completely. But tonight, I think he screwed up.