Thank You Torts!

This is who the Rangers now ex-coach is. Not the guy who hates talking to the media.

This is who the Rangers now ex-coach is. Not the guy who everyone hates because he isn’t good at talking with the media.

The past 48 hours, I’ve seen a lot of posts showing why Torts was fired with most of them being based around the way he treated the media. Could he have treated them better? Of course he could have. But I’m not the media, so it didn’t bother me. (Honestly, half the time I thought the media deserved it with the the stupid questions they asked.)

So I’m not going to show his press conferences or his tirades. Instead I’m going to thank him for everything he did the past four years.

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Torts Out, Lots Of Questions Remain

I'll miss seeing you stand back there Torts. (Photo: Melissa Andus)

I’ll miss seeing you stand back there Torts. (Photo: Melissa Andus)

By now, you’ve all heard the news – John Tortorella was relieved of his duties as head coach earlier today. I’ll admit, it completely caught me off guard. The fact that it caught every person who is around the team (beat writers, media) by surprise as well, I don’t think I was wrong to think he would make it to the fall.

But something happened at some point in the past couple of weeks that led Glen Sather to this decision. The media is reporting that it was things said (specifically by Henrik Lundqvist) in exit interviews. That’s possible. But no one took note of the fact Sather didn’t speak on Monday. In the past, he has made some sort of appearance on break-up day.

We can sit and second guess things we saw and heard till next season starts but the truth is we will never know what led to today’s decision. I will say, with the knowledge I have, I don’t agree with it. But I obviously don’t have all the facts. Torts was a big piece of what the Rangers have become the past few years so I will give him his due on here as well as discuss my thoughts on possible options (hint: no Messier) in the coming days.

In the meantime, I say thanks Torts. I appreciate what you’ve done for this team and organization.

Another Memorial Day = Another Break-up Day For Rangers

(Photo: Jesse Spector/flickr)

Even though the loss didn’t hurt, I miss these boys already. Two out of the three guys in this picture are free agents this summer. The one on the right better be back next year. (Photo: Jesse Spector/flickr)

Two days after their season ended, the Rangers were back at their practice facility one last time to empty out their lockers. No real surprises as everyone who played said they weren’t hurt, everyone who didn’t said they had the injuries we expected and all were disappointed at when their season ended. (Sadly, I believe it from some of them. Others, it just sounded like words. Maybe I am more bitter that I thought about this loss.)

I’m going to break down the quotes and news into sections. First the boys who are free agents this summer:

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Eulogy: Remembering the 2013 New York Rangers

Innocent until proven guilty, right? And a man who looks like that couldn't possibly be guilty of anything but being perfect. (Photo: hank30nyr/instagram)

Innocent until proven guilty, right? And a man who looks like that couldn’t possibly be guilty of anything but being perfect. (Photo: hank30nyr/instagram)

Editors Note: Every year, Yahoo posts eulogies for the teams eliminated from the playoffs. I haven’t read the Rangers yet but if it’s anything like past ones, they will find a blogger of another team who will write about our history and nothing else. I decided to use their format (i.e. sarcastic) but write about the current team.

Dearly Beloved,

We are gathered here to mourn the death of Henrik Lundqvist’s teammates…literally. See after the Rangers lost on the exact same day as they did last year, the locker room went up in flames with everyone inside except Lundqvist, who was seen leaving the room right before the blaze mumbling “now maybe they’ll get me a real team”.

If he did indeed kill his teammates, which hasn’t been proven as of this writing, could anyone blame him? I mean some of them might have been dead already or at least close to it. Has anyone seen Rick Nash or Ryan Callahan recently? I’m thinking they died before the playoffs began and there were lookalikes skating with their jerseys on so there wouldn’t be any “distractions”. It’s not like the press could’ve asked Torts about it if they suspected something.

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I’m Sorry Henrik, You Deserved Better

This man deserves to win. I don't know how the rest of the team can look at him after playing as they did tonight. (Photo: Melissa Andus)

This man deserves to win. I don’t know how the rest of the team can look at him after playing as they did tonight. (Photo: Melissa Andus)

All I wanted was the boys to come out and try. Just try. If you were going to go down, go down with your heads held high. Instead I got about ten minutes of actual playing time from the visitors. Surprisingly, it wasn’t enough.

I get it. Some guys get up for big games. Guys like Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and Henrik Lundqvist who refuse to lose and if their team does, it won’t be because of them. Others just can’t handle the pressure. Honestly most of the Rangers looked like that tonight but I think we definitely have to put Michael Del Zotto in that category. I know last year he had an excuse for his play in the ECF but to my knowledge, he doesn’t have one this year and tonight, as much as it pains me to say this, he was horrible.

Honestly, the best news of the night involved the coach as apparently Tortorella declined his bench interview during the second period. Good. I think those interviews are stupid because one the questions asked are dumb and two the coaches should be using the timeout to coach, not babble to some broadcaster.

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Rangers, Please Don’t Let This Be Last Year

(Photo: Marques Stewart/flickr)

(Photo: Marques Stewart/flickr)

Around 7:30 pm tonight, Rangers fans will be doing the exact same thing they were doing a year ago today – watching the Rangers try to stave off elimination. (Yes the game starts at 5:30 but last years’ was a normal start so that is the time both games would be going on.) One year ago, they didn’t succeed as tonight was game six of the Eastern Conference Finals (i.e. the round we should be in if we didn’t have to deal with the lockout last fall). I have nothing against May 25th and I would like to keep it that way so I’m hoping the Rangers can be more successful than they were last year.

So what will it take?

“We need one shift, one play, one block, one goal. To make this season a memorable one.”

That was Steven McDonald during this years’ presentation for the award given to the Rangers MVP as voted by the fans. I’ve been holding that quote for a day that I think the boys will need it. I hope they watch video of his speech around 5 pm tonight. One shift at a time boys. Let’s bring this series back to New York.

The Brad Richards Conundrum

I took this picture during warmups as proof Richards did dress last night. (Photo: Melissa Andus)

Oh Richie. I knew you weren’t going to last the entire length of that contract but I didn’t expect to be discussing this yet. (Photo: Melissa Andus)

Oh Brad Richards. I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to write about this till the summer but yesterday has brought this issue front and center – what do the Rangers do with Brad Richards?

My view through this entire forgettable season for the Rangers alternate captain has been to give him another year. The compliance buyout can be used this summer or next and since the Rangers have no one else to use it on at this point, hold it till next summer and use it then. I truly believe the lockout hurt Richie more than other players. Add that to the fact he basically missed camp due to the flu and he has been trying to play catch-up since the season began. The problem? At his age, he just hasn’t been able to do it.

Does this mean that he really is declining and we will see the same next year as we are this year? Yes, it’s possible. But I think he deserves a chance to prove this year was a fluke. In his first season as a Ranger, he wasn’t what fans hoped but he wasn’t horrible. And for those who don’t remember, he kind of did this and this. I’m not ready to give up on him.

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