Before you all read this guest post, I just wanted to thank every guest blogger we’ve had on behalf of Dave, Mike, myself and everyone at BSB. They’ve all been interesting reads and just show, whether you agree with the content or not, that the Rangers have some of the most hockey intelligent fans in the league.
Anyway, here’s another post – this time from Jeff Sullivan.
As my brother would like to describe it, the Rangers are in the mist of their classic “February slide” which has, once again, put the prospect of making the playoffs into jeopardy this season. If the Rangers shaky and erratic play continues from here on out, then indeed they will potentially be out of the playoffs this year. With that being said, how would a situation like this effect coach John Tortorella’s tenure with the team? I have searched for the details of coach Tortorella’s contract and there seems to be no public record of this information. So, how long is his contract? Is it open-ended? Without the answers to these questions, one could still reasonably surmise that any coach could be fired at any moment for any cause.
To recount Tortorella’s brief history with the Rangers, he took over for Tom Renney during the 2008-09 season when the team was in the middle of a losing streak (February slide?) although they were still in a playoff position at the time. The Rangers finished 12-7-2 in their final 21 games and got eliminated from the first round of the playoffs by the Capitals in 7 games which was not as close a series on the ice largely due to Washington’s underachieving play. Next, we move to last year’s 2009-10 disappointment when the Rangers did not even make the playoffs (we all remember how that happened, painfully). So, that leaves Tortorella’s playoff attendance record at 1-1, kind of.
If Tortorella doesn’t get the Rangers back into this year, will he get fired? The answer is no, but this result would create a serious strain on his standing in New York and definitely put him in the hot seat. Tortorella has eased his manner with the media this year, somewhat, and has consistently talked using words like “we” and “us.” This demeanor gives the appearance of a unified front between the management and coach. Nevertheless, the pressure is mounting for coach Tortorella to deliver tangible results.
By Jeffrey Sullivan