Torts Needs To Act Now

October 17, 2011, by

I’m not one for panicking, but with three games gone (which is nothing over such a long grind of a season) John Tortorella needs to step up. First of all, let’s get this out of the way: Tortorella is a great coach; he has instigated a new youthful culture on this club and is the right guy to lead them. He’s softened his old ways much like Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants did. That led to success, maybe it will here too.

Here’s the but. I want to see Torts make an example out of someone. This club has its share of issues to begin the year (the travel, the injuries), but the lazy penalty parade, which is becoming a growing concern, needs to stop. If it takes a benching, if it takes a press conference rant like the old Tortorella days or if it takes a high priced star to take a seat for a game then it needs to be done.

The lucky thing is this; it’s early in the year. This is a trend and it is a developing one, but it hasn’t yet become a habit. You don’t establish habits in three games. I was disappointed with the way the Rangers seemed to be magnetized to the penalty box in Stockholm and it only got worse against the Islanders. The lack of physical presence from Marc Staal and Mike Sauer being out of the line up can explain a lot, but it isn’t an excuse (in my opinion) for the host of penalties.

The Rangers acquired Brad Richards to re-energise Marian Gaborik and they have both started the season in promising fashion, but if they’re stuck to the bench for large parts of games because the penalty kill is constantly on the ice what use are they? The penalties need to stop and its on the coach to stop them.


  1. The Suit says:

    Who do you want to see get benched, called out, etc?

    • Dave says:

      Dare I say Dubinsky? Those were 3 gruesome penalties in the last 2 games.

      • Chris in MA says:

        Dubi was the first name to come to mind for me… though I didnt pay close attention to the game on saturday.

        • Chris says:

          There are a lot of worthy candidates but Dubi was also in my thoughts. As is Boyle who has had a particularly poor start to the year.

          As coach I’d also have a word (in private)with our new captain. Hustle and effort is one thing, playing recklessly, carelessly is another. Obv though it’s a different dynamic. You don’t give a guy the C, he scores in game one then you bench him…

  2. Rich A says:

    Funny, Gernander has the same problem with the Whale. You should read his statement after last game. In related news, A. Yogan was benched for penalties also. Wow.
    Who would we sit. Can’t really sit a defenseman…..

  3. Chris in MA says:

    *clap clap clap*

    Agree 100%

    As for who to sit… I Torts should probably just look at like a 2-3game span, whoever took the most lazy penalties ends up in the press box for the next game or two.

    … or something like that. The above obviously isnt a perfect system, but the hope is that it wouldnt need to be in place for very long.

  4. Rickyrants13 says:

    Maybe Torts is the one who should be benched. Afterall he is the one who did nothing about the penalties all preseason. He is the one who has failed to get a working PP. And his staff has failed to teach their players how to win faceoffs. I am all ready getting my voice ready for the FIRE TORTS chants. Because he hasnt done anything in three years that we didnt allready have.

    • Chris says:

      That’s a sinbin comment right there. He’s helped change the entire culture and mindset of a franchise going nowhere quickly.

      Yes he needs to do more for the PP and the penalties but to say fire Torts, that’s insane.

      • The Suit says:

        Agreed. I’m sure Redden, Drury, Rozi, and Avery will join you Ricky. And nobody else.

      • Rickyrants13 says:

        Sin Bin??? Tell me what I said was wrong??? Did he fix the mess in the preseason when we all saw it was heading in the wrong direction???. NO HE DID’NT

        Did he fix the PP NO HE DID’NT

        Have we gotten any better taking faceoffs??? NO WE HAVE’NT…

        Has he taken this team any further. Then Reney did??? NO HE HAS’NT…

        Can you see where Im going with this??? You can all sit here and say that Torts is a far better coach then Renny was because he won a Stanley Cup with Tampa and Renny hasnt won one yet. But Torts has not done any more with the Rangers then Renney did and thats a fact.

        It is also a fact that we missed the playoff with Torts at the helm and we have gotten in two years by the skin of out teeth. That means we barely made it in…

        And whats sad is Renney did it while most of the players we have today were rookies or not even on the team yet. Ide love to know what he would have done with the team we had last year or the one before that…

        Listen I know that Torts hasnt had it easy Injuries and a roster that isnt where it needs to be yet. But doesnt some of that go on his shoulders too???

        And when I said I was getting My voice ready I wasnt saying Im gonna start the chants. I was mearly saying I have been around the Garden long enough to see it coming. And if things keep up the way they are. ITS COMING…

        And if that deserves a trip to the SIN BIN sign Me up…

        • Spozo says:

          You know whats kinda funny? The Rangers are tops in the league in faceoff percentage. 57.3% to be exact.

          • jay h says:

            shhhh. facts aren’t fair

          • Rickyrants13 says:

            Yea one guy leads the NHL with 80% and he was taught by the Rangers coaching staff. Where are the rest of them compared to last year. Please dont lose sight of the big picture here. I mean yea they went out and got Richards to help. But why isnt their anyone on the coaching staff that can help teach the kids the little things that make teams better IE PP,PK and faceoffs???

            And that leads right back to my main post…

            • The Suit says:

              It’s all a work in progress bro, and Torts is moving this team in the right direction. I liked the 2010-2011 Rangers far more than I liked where this team was at in 2008. We’re getting there and Torts is the guy to lead us for all the reasons I mentioned.

        • Jess Rubenstein (@TheProspectpark) says:

          I will gladly join Ricky if this is a supposed “sinbin” comment.

          The points Ricky made are very valid as if the team is not playing with discipline then it is up to the coach to do something about it.

          If the team is coming out flat then that too is on the coach as it is his job to have this team ready to go.

          Tom Renney was fired because the team was doing exactly the same kinds of things that they have been doing under Torts.

          For a supposed hard a**, Torts has done next to nothing when it comes to holding players accountable for this play.

          And sorry Chris I like you but Torts did little to change the culture on the Rangers as the young players on the roster just like they did under Renney forced their way on.

          • Spozo says:

            It’s 3 games into the season and the first two were played on another continent against two cup contenders. Now I agree that they haven’t looked great but I will give it until at least game 10 to make any conclusion about the team or the coach. Until then, let’s agree to disagree!

            • The Suit says:

              Amen Sponzo. The slate is wiped clean, it’s a new season.

              Firing Torts now would be a knee jerk reaction. The team is at a different stage of their development then Renney’s team was. I’m surprised more “experts” aren’t aware of this given the fact that we rebuilt our blue line last season.

              The fact one would think Torts doesn’t hold players accountable or that he didnt bring about the youth movement shows me just how disconnected some of these fans really are. People are grasping for straws here.

              I respect must of your opinions here, but come on boys, it’s game three! Let’s stay positive.

          • Rickyrants13 says:

            Hey Jess glad you can see what I see. Sometimes you have to be able to put what you want to see and what you really see. Into perspective.

            I want torts and this team to do well just as much as the next guy. But Im not affraid to call it as is As well.

  5. Scully says:

    I’m not sure it’s time to sit someone yet guys. Like you’re saying 3 games in a row with bad penalties isn’t a good thing, but it’s just three games. Unfortunately for the Rangers this season the start in Sweden and then the next several on the road will be rocky, especially without the help of two of their top four defenseman. Tomorrow’s game is against Vancouver. Let’s see if they come out firing on all cylinders. Torts has done a good job of getting the guys motivated in the past. If they play another clunker, then I will change my tune and sing it with the rest of you. In the meantime I’m not happy with 2 points in 3 games but, i AM happy there’s still 79 games to go in the season and glad hockey is back.

    Remember the ’94 rangers started slow, lost against expansion Anaheim, drew the ire of Messier and Keenan and then went on a tear! Of course they also traded James Patrick and Darren Turcotte for Steve Larmer and Nick Kypreos but, hey… now I’m just showing off my Rangers memory :p.

  6. mhurley says:

    Okay, it’s very easy to point the finger of blame at a couple of players. Let’s actually look at the penalties and who took them before we crucify one player.

    Ducks Game:
    01:57 Ryan, 2 min, Bench – Too Many Men on the Ice
    03:49 Boyle, 2 min, Interference
    09:28 Parros, 5 min, Fighting
    09:28 Rupp, 5 min, Fighting
    11:34 Perry, 2 min, Slashing
    11:34 Perry, 2 min, Roughing
    11:34 Dubinsky, 2 min, Roughing
    11:34 Dubinsky, 2 min, Slashing
    14:20 Cogliano, 2 min, Slashing
    16:58 Callahan, 2 min, Boarding
    19:29 Ryan, 2 min, High-Sticking
    19:50 Dubinsky, 2 min, High-Sticking
    2nd period
    02:14 Dubinsky, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
    05:54 Getzlaf, 2 min, Tripping
    05:46 Erixon, 2 min, Interference
    07:06 Blake, 2 min, Bench – Too Many Men on the Ice
    10:43 Parros, 2 min, Hooking
    3rd period
    07:53 Koivu, 2 min, Delay of Game – Puck Over Glass
    09:43 Boyle, 2 min, Hooking

    03:49 Boyle, 2 min, Interference


    1st period
    03:05 Zuccarello, 2 min, Boarding
    05:04 Eminger, 2 min, Cross-Checking
    2nd period
    02:24 Prust, 5 min, Fighting
    02:24 Clifford, 5 min, Fighting
    02:44 Erixon, 2 min, Delay of Game
    11:14 Gagne, 2 min, Roughing
    3rd period
    17:57 Boyle, 2 min, Interference
    02:51 McDonagh, 2 min, Tripping
    04:08 Dubinsky, 10 min, Misconduct


    1st period
    01:09 Dubinsky, 2 min, Hooking
    08:30 Erixon, 2 min, Interference
    12:27 Streit, 2 min, Interference
    18:04 Reasoner, 2 min, Tripping
    2nd period
    01:17 Zuccarello, 2 min, Bench – Too Many Men on the Ice
    03:30 Callahan, 2 min, Boarding
    08:21 Hamonic, 2 min, High-Sticking
    09:27 Callahan, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
    10:44 Boyle, 2 min, Delay of Game – Smothering Puck
    3rd period
    01:10 Hamonic, 2 min, Hooking
    03:23 Girardi, 2 min, Interference
    15:21 Gaborik, 2 min, Hooking

    There’s enough blame to go around. Even Captain Callahan was guilty of some costly and stupid penalties.

    And, as much as you all don’t want to blame the officiating, there has been some goddamn terrible calls and non-calls, especially in Nassau.

    We can’t afford to bench anyone right now. Now is the time to develop chemistry. Torts past object lessons had the exact opposite effect of what was desired.

    Everyone needs to back away from the cliff and chill out.

  7. Mikeyyyy says:

    I’m not srceaming to fire the guy, and I do agree we need to give them more time to right everything. But I do hold the coach accountable right now.

    He is missing two defenders but that is no excuse considering the depth this team has. Or at least that is what people have been saying the last year and a half.

    They have looked lost out there for a majority of the time. And the pp is still atrocious.

    Again I am not saying fire the guy. But my eyebrow does raise a bit at mention of his name in conjunction with the slow start this year.