I haven’t posted much recently for a number of reasons, but they are all personal. I did want to take a few minutes out of my hectic schedule though to talk about our new head coach and the entire clusterfrak that is our offseason thus far.
First, and I want to be crystal clear on this one. Of all the coaches out there, I still personally feel that John Tortorella is the best one…even better than AV. However, with that said, if it is indeed true that Torts lost the room, you HAVE to make that change, and I’m not sure you’re going to get a better coach than AV. I would have personally gone with Boucher, but I think that most Rangers fans wouldn’t be up for that kind of hockey, so forget that.
There is one misconception out there though, and it’s that AV is going to run a run and gun squad that will try to beat every team 6-5. Even Sather mentioned something about how he finds 6-5 games to be better than 1-0 games. I think we’re fooling ourselves if you think AV, a guy known for preaching defense first, will suddenly give up his entire philosophy there.
I think AV is going to try to get more out of the offense, but remember, this team, at Even Strength, was actually quite good. They had the 3rd best ES team in the NHL (Goals for VS Goals against) behind Pittsburgh and Chicago. It was our PP that was terribad. Can AV fix that? I’m not convinced, but who knows. At Even Strength Torts already had us playing a damn good game in all 3 zones. Sure, one could make the argument that the 6 goalie system took away some offense, and if you can maybe score 10-20 more goals while only giving up say 5-10, then that’s a tradeoff you’ll make every day of the week. Will that happen? Not sure. I guess we’ll find out.
I will say that AV does seem quite personable. I really liked his interview and thought he sounded just like the kind of guy the players would play well for after getting ridden hard for the past few years. Will they then become soft from the lack of accountability that Torts brought? I guess we’ll see.
Now, the question is what to do about Richards.
To me, it really all depends on what ELSE the Rangers are going to do. If they are looking to bring back basically the same exact team, then I would bring Richards back, because you can at least TRY to see if AV could fix his game and bring him back to the 90 point player he’s been in the past. If he can’t buy him out next offseason.
However, if the Rangers want to be active, maybe go and sign Lecavalier if he’s bought out, or bring in Briere, or both, or trade for Bobby Ryan, or, or, or…then you can go ahead and cut ties with Brad Richards and use that money for those players.
Have a gameplan and go from there.