Had John Tortorella allowed offensively-gifted players to express themselves — he might’ve lifted the Stanley Cup down The Canyon of Heroes and been universally loved by Rangers fans.
So begins hockey’s version of “Trading Places.” Two opposite personalities in Vigneault and Tortorella are thrown directly into each other’s former worlds.
The hiring of ex-Rangers head coach John Tortorella by the Vancouver Canucks is an extremely risky appointment.
Vigneault may not be a breath of fresh air, but he’s not the restrictive leader that Tortorella was and that’s good news for the Rangers.
Glen Sather must find a coach who understands that the Rangers need to develop their offensive instincts. Tortorella crushed players like Marian Gaborik, those who wanted to put the puck in the net. The next coach can’t be so limited in his outlook.
Sather and the Rangers need a new philosophy and a new leader. Tortorella’s hard-edged discipline serves a purpose, but it’s not going to bring the Rangers a championship.
Brad Richards is without a role and will soon be bought out by the Rangers because of a shrinking salary cap and long offseason checklist for GM Glen Sather.
While Tortorella didn’t want to use injuries as an excuse, the Rangers were severely hampered by a number of key injuries.
The Rangers did a lot of good things and struggled in other areas. Here are three things I took from Monday night — good and bad.
Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett were inserted into the Rangers’ lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
The Rangers may be able to push the Caps, but this is Washington’s series to win. The Rangers may get two games, but it’s Oates, Ovechkin and the Capitals who will go on to the second round.
“I think it solidified our team,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said of the deadline dealing. “We have kind of grown since then … I thought it changed our team a little bit, and we took off.”
While Gaborik is thriving in Columbus, the Blueshirts landed a haul of their own. Derick Brassard and John Moore are flourishing under the Madison Square Garden lights.
The New York Rangers are one of the luckiest teams in all of sports. That may not sit right with Rangers fans, but in the unfair world of the NHL it’s the Rangers who are getting the major break.
In the last 48 hours, the Rangers have completely revamped their team — not only for the playoff push, but moving forward for next season.