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The media and Pierre McGuire still ignoring Tortorella’s adjustments

During Tuesday night’s game, I noticed the Bruins were finding an easy way to exploit the Rangers aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck early in the first period. The Rangers just seemed a step behind making contact with the puck carrier. While I always prefer a 2-1-2 forecheck and I am glad it is the system Torts has installed, I couldn’t help but think an adjustment needed to be made. Generally speaking, when guys are a step behind, the 2-1-2 becomes very, very risky.

Anyway, so the Bruins were putting on a clinic, creating three quality scoring chances before the game hit the 10 minute mark. I started to think to myself, “Come on Torts, make the adjustment. Drop the third guy back.”

And what does Tortorella do? He makes the adjustment.

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As you can see in the picture above, with six minutes left in the first period the Rangers ditched the 2-1-2 for a slightly more conservative 2-3 lock. If you don’t know the difference between these two forechecks, I humbly ask you to read up on my chalk talks here.

So the coaching staff makes the adjustment, and I was back to being a happy Suit. But here is where things get interesting. Late in the first period, McGuire was trashing Tortorella and going on and on about how he coached all of these years in the National Hockey League. This felt odd because the only time I remember him coaching was in the 90’s for the Whalers and it wasn’t even for a full season. But I dismissed it. McGuire always loves to exaggerate and toot his own horn.

Then McGuire went after the Rangers forechecking system and he criticized Torts for not making the proper adjustments. Specifically, he thought the Rangers should switch to a mid-lane lock, which is just another term for the 2-3. If you don’t remember this, here’s the video.

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You’ll notice that this particular rant from McGuire (I know there were many) ends with just under four minutes left in the first period. Yet the adjustment was already made as evidenced above? This begs the question, why? Why ignore the adjustment? Did Pierre miss it? Or is this some sort of payback for abrupt interviews?

I normally respect Pierre. He’s been working in this game for a long time, but his analysis during this series has been pretty bad. Point in case, the Bruins had 16 giveaways on Sunday and the Rangers had one. We weren’t able to capitalize on those turnovers, but still – 16 is too high to ignore. Was there any mention of it by anyone? Nope.

Look, I get it. I know the Rangers are losing. They don’t deserve much praise right now, but fans deserve honest analysis and this post is proof we’re not getting it.

32 Responses to “The media and Pierre McGuire still ignoring Tortorella’s adjustments”

  1. Dave says:

    Wait, Torts made an adjustment and didn’t get credit for it? Shocking.

  2. Spozo says:

    You need to ditch this whole posting about “facts” and using “statistics” to back up your arguments.

    “This guy sucks” is a much better headline to focus your blogs on. Forget any knowledge you have about the game (which is considerably more than myself since I have never played organized hockey past the age of 10 or been an NHL coach) and just focus on the 20×20 foot screenshot we get that the camera focuses on.

  3. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Suit, if I ever get ahold of Pierre’s personal email, I will send this directly to him. Solid post.

  4. mikeyyy says:

    You make your bed and then must sleep in it.

    Torts likes it when the media doesn’t like him.

    He likes it when his team can go under the radar.

    • Spozo says:

      I will agree that this team always seems to do better when no one expects them to. Anytime high expectations are put on them they usually don’t live up to them.

      • The Suit says:

        Torts has made his bed with the media. Can’t really argue against that. But at some point you have to wonder when those paid to do analysis will tell the whole story.

        Hey if not, oh well. We will do it for them. I think that’s probably why our traffic has increased so much over the years ;)

        • Joe says:

          I agree, you guys definitely give all the information that is available. Kudos to all of you!

          • Dave says:

            Thanks. Much appreciated

            • VinceR says:

              Some bitter thumbs down here. I guess they come here to read something else? Lots of spare time I suppose if they bother coming to a site they don’t think provides good information to give thumbs down on posts that say “good job guys”…especially the thumbs down on Joe, who disagrees with much of the Torts stuff you post but still has enough sense to know you guys kill it when it comes to the info.

              Rare thumbs up from me Joe (I’m sure life is now complete) :)

  5. SalMerc says:

    Oh Wait – Torts make an adjustment, the other team makes “in-game” adjustments to counter and we still look to applaud the coach for doing his job. Unless I am mistaken, we are on the verge of elimination, with the worst PP rate in the playoffs. Protect Torts all you want, but his reputation (with his players and the press) is what it is and his on-ice product is not that good. If winning solves everything then losing exploits the gaps. Time for Slats or even MSG to make another adjustment.

    • Spozo says:

      I don’t think anywhere in this post did suit try and absolve Torts from having a crap pp. he simply took a single argument often made about why Tortorella should be canned and said why that is wrong. This wasn’t an all encompassing analysis of his coaching style and I’m sure it never intended to be.

      Personally I can’t say exactly what is wrong with this team or who I feel is to blame but if you take this single argument “Tortorella is being outcoached because he isn’t making in game adjustments” I think they disproved that in this post.

      That’s what this article was about and I completely agree.

      • The Suit says:

        Exactamundo Spozo. Thanks for getting it.

        The power play sucks. While I do think we need to acquire a PP QB, that doesn’t absolve the entire coaching staff from having a power play that is this unsuccessful.

        With that said, and this is probably what separates myself from others who blog about the Rangers, the solution in my opinion is to scour the market for a PP QB. If that doesn’t work, hire a PP coach. But I wouldn’t fire Torts this summer. He has squeezed this lemon pretty effin dry in my opinion.

  6. SalMerc says:

    And sometimes the Press overlooks the good and harps on the bad because Torts demeanor and condescending attitude asks for it.

    • The Suit says:

      Boy if I didn’t do my job because people yelled at me, I wouldn’t be working in sports right now. I’d be back in my neighborhood slingin pies like the good old days haha.

  7. Erixon20 says:

    Any adjustments made to the breakout? That would be a good idea, instead of throwing everything up the wall to a waiting Bruin.

    • Dave says:

      The Bruins are a very conservative 1-4 trap team, sometimes even playing with 5 guys behind the red line. It’s like playing the mid-90s Devils all over again. Dump and chase is what beats it, but the Bruins are winning the board battles too.

      • The Suit says:

        Agreed. If the Rangers are going to win this game, they need to dump, chase and win the puck. If they try to go up the middle against the trap, this game will be over very quickly.

        • Erixon20 says:

          I agree with the dump and chase, but you can’t do that from our side of our blueline. We can’t get out of our zone cleanly because our guys predictably throw it up the wall to a Bruin and we get pinned in our zone for stretches. The Devils figured this out last year. If we can get out of our endzone, we can deal with a trap or whatever by dumping and chasing….and punishing the 3 rookie Dmen. Should have been doing that from Game 1….and that is on Torts IMO.

  8. RangerMom says:

    Excellent take down, Mr. Suit. I don’t absolve Torts for his mistakes/weaknesses, but I’m getting pretty tired of hearing the same old memes that are just plain wrong (as you have pointed out): he doesn’t make adjustments, his system is too passive, the players hate him, he takes no accountability, he’s ruined Kreider, and on and on. We have less pure talent than the team(s) we’ve been playing, and coupled with some clear disappointments this season — Richards’ & Gabby’s disappearance acts, Kreider’s failing to meet fan expectations, etc. — it’s kind of a miracle we’ve made it this far. Again, the blame is shared by many, and the coaching staff has to take its lumps for a lot of what’s gone wrong, but let’s just not make stuff up. Pierre is lazy, arrogant and should know better.

    • The Suit says:

      Agreed on all counts. I hope your kids are playing hockey. If they do, they’re probably ahead of the curve.

    • VinceR says:

      One of my favorite comments in a while…there have been some good ones in the past few days.

  9. AdamGravesIsTheMan says:

    Why is Sully still the special teams coach? I will readily admit that I don’t know much about how the coaching structure works, but when our special teams are as abysmal as they are and have been for several years now, how is Sully still on staff?

    • The Suit says:

      Because he also helps runs the defense. Lot of guys have improved under his watch.

      • AdamGravesIsTheMan says:

        Is it non-feasible to separate the roles of assistant/defensive coach and special teams coach?

        • Dave says:

          I’d expect them to look for a PP coach, or at least give that control back to Torts.

  10. Chuck A says:

    How can we get this post “between the glass?”

  11. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    Well at least Henrik Lundquist isn’t blaming bounces on the game 3 loss…o wait

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/playoffs/2013/story/_/id/9305330/2013-stanley-cup-playoffs-henrik-lundqvist-says-bruins-getting-lucky-bounces

  12. TxRangerLovesSideBoob says:

    Respect Pierre? I thought it was consensus that he was a total kook.

    • The Suit says:

      Working in sports, I know how tough it is to get here and stay here, so yes I respect anyone who works in the game. With that said, his remarks in game 3 were offbase and misleading.