Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tortorella: Practice #1

John Tortorella put the team through their first practice together this morning, it lasted about 45 minutes.

Obviously it was the first time that the media got to talk with Tortorella since he took over the team last night so there was a 25-minute media gathering with Tortorella where he had some interesting quotes. Taken from Ranger Rants:

In regards to the power play and penalty kill, Tortorella said:
I'm going to give Schoney the penalty killing and he's going to handle the D during the games and I'm going to do the power play. I think it's important that the head coach has the power play. You're dealing with a lot of your top people and I think that's an important aspect of a head coach, getting the most out of your top people. You get to converse with them, they see the game differently than the coach does. Obviously if we're going to win it's going to have to produce.
This is very different from the way that Renney coached, because Perry Pearn was responsible for the most part for handing the Rangers horrible power play.

Tortorella also made it clear that he would not be roleing four lines, he said ""Your best players need to be your decision makers and be given every opportunity to win hockey games for us." I hope this doesn't mean that Colton Orr becomes a healthy scratch on a regular basis. Over the course of the season so far, the Rangers fourth line has probably been their most consistent line. Betts and Sjostrom are arguably the best penalty killing duo in the league and you know every night that Colton Orr is going to do what he does best if needed (a top 5 fighter in the NHL).

Yesterday the rumor was that the Rangers had agreed on a contract with Tortorella but there was a hold up because Tampa wanted compensation for Tortorella who was still under contract with Tampa until June. It now appears that the holdup was a clause that Mike Sullivan (Tampa Assistant coach) has in his contract, which stipulates that he has the option of being John Tortorella's assistant if Tortorella becomes a coach for another NHL team. It now appears that Tortorella wanted Sullivan to come to NY and be one of his assistants but the Lightning wouldn't allow it, so Jim Schoenfiled said that he would take over that position for the remainder of the season.

For some good reading about today's first practice, I suggest reading Andrew Gross' Ranger Rants and Steve Zipay over at NewsDay. They are the New York Rangers beat writers for their respective newspapers so they attend most of the practices/games and therefore have all of the quotes


Adriana said...

i think it may be a very good thing that this new coach was hired and the previous one got fired. Renney hardly did anything for the Rangers to win, and i have high hopes for this guy to pull everything around...

here's another great article i found on the issue:


Puck Central said...

I don't agree that Renney 'hardly did anything for the Rangers to win' and I think that the 1st two games under Tortorella have more than proven that the NYRs don't have the players that can score (Sather's fault). A coach can only work w/ the tools that he's been given. That is why Renney played such a defensive system, he knew that the Rangers couldn't win games 5-4. Unfortunately this team can't even score more than 1 goal a game!