Time To CriticizeMarch 4, 2011, by
This isn’t an emotionally fueled rant that was written immediately after the game, this is about something that has started to eat away at me the last few weeks. Tortorella has admirably stood by – and in front of – his players. He’s been kind when they’ve made mistakes and we all know it’s a young team so it’s only fair mistakes will happen as they grow. However, as in all walks of life sometimes the proverbial kick up the backside (AKA genuine criticism) is the best course of action.
This Rangers team cannot finish. At all. To the point where chances are made and no matter how good the chance is you do not expect the Blue shirt to score. Now, it’s time to call out Dubinsky, Callahan, Anisimov and several others. Yes, I have just called out a few of the Rangers royalty and it’s deserved. I don’t know how many times this season I have screamed at the screen for Callahan to lift the puck on a gilt edged chance but it’s a lot. I don’t know how many times I have seen Dubinsky choose the wrong option close in front but it’s a lot. Anisimov? How often does he actually win one-on-one battles around the net? You see where I am going?…
And the most frustrating part of it all is that it’s amendable. Scoring is, in my opinion, technique and that can be taught. Creating/Getting the chances is about instinct and you can’t necessarily teach that. It’s similar whatever the sport. If its finding space in front of the net in hockey, timing a run behind the defender in soccer or losing your coverage as a receiver in football, it’s knowing what to do in that moment. The annoying thing is, the Rangers seem to have this instinct, what they don’t have is technique and ability. So, this calling out is also aimed at the coaching staff – they need to teach. You may all disagree and that’s fine but something has to be said.
Ryan Callahan, the overall package, what he is and does; he may be one of the top 5 of that kind of player in the whole league but he is a god damn awful finisher. Now is the time to get him in practice and drill it in to him – hundreds of shots. Every practice. Same goes for others on the team. This needs to be public criticism. They need to be aware of their faults because being nice and saying they are young only goes so far. Their major deficiency is costing a serious amount of points. This team has good upside and a bright future but only if they start to convert occasionally. So… Tortorella and Sullivan – this criticism goes for you as much as it goes for the players. Let’s try and learn to finish shall we?