Monday, August 9, 2010

Guest Blogger #18: An Open Letter to John Tortorella

By Chef Dave

Coach Tortorella,

I wanted to share with you some thoughts regarding the upcoming season and your approach to the situation that Glen Sather has created for you.

Your approach to coaching has of course been somewhat diametric to your predecessor, particularly in your motivational strategies. While your passion for your team to perform is undeniable and respectable, it may also lead to players being kept on a very short leash that can affect their chemistry on the ice. Chemistry, as you of course know, is not always instantaneous and often requires patience to fully develop. I believe that your approach regarding the frequency of your line changes thus deserves reevaluation.

Toward the end of last season you admitted that it was "frustrating" that you were still making line adjustments in April. While that was of course a valid frustration it is a situation that need not repeat itself this season.

This season the Rangers may bring back as many as 16 skaters from last year, many of who have been with the team for several seasons. This is a gift for a coach like you. Chemistry between these players should already be largely developed. However simply because a player, line or team has one or two bad nights this should not facilitate the rippling effect of the constant tinkering we saw last year. Tom Renney stuck with his line combinations too much, and that needed correction. This season should be the one where the pendulum that swung so far away from Renneys statical approach should come back to a more constructive middle.

The notion of chemistry, perhaps even at the occasional expense of performance, could possibly be the most important tenant of success for this team in the playoffs. The reason is because this team will most likely not challenge for The Presidents Trophy this year, but can have playoff success if it peaks at the right time. Incessant line changes to what has been a relatively healthy team will not facilitate the necessary chemistry at the end of the season, thus offering us a solemn repeat of last year.

Sincerely,
Chef Dave

15 comments :

Anonymous said...

agreed. the line changing ordeal was the most angering thing. after one shift, good or bad, they get changed. if you did were not considered productive- line change. you scored in period one but not two- line change. take a break torts

Anonymous said...

wow one dude makes a comment about the grammar and now we have to read long winded posts that repeat the same thing...By the way no matter how you formulate your sentences, it shows you never have played, or coached a game of hockey in your life. line combinations and line shuffling had nothing to do with the Rangers lack of success last year at all.!! Torts is a great coach, guys just need to step up.

Kevin DeLury said...

Anonymous #2, if you're going to throw criticisms around how about manning up and at least leaving a name.

Andrewfromsherb said...

Hahaha way to tell them Kevin...leave a name, it takes a second.!!! that being said, Chef Dave got any better ideas besides leaving line combinations together..its kind of hard to know which ones to leave together if none of them score isn't it.. I think coach Tortorella's concern last year was precisely that. Everyone complains about the constant line juggling but noone scores aside from gabby..lol lets stop passing the puck to the management and coaches and start writing open letters to the players to freakin step it up!!!!

Just a fan with my 2 cents said...

Anonymous 2...
as someone who both played D-1 college and coached i can tell you that Tort's line scrambling played a role in their disappointing season.
Tort's lost the team half way through the season (this coming directly from the players themselves) they tuned him out and were even more confused when lines changed as often as they did during games non-the-less.
It's the coaches job to have everyone on the same page and know their roll but when your own coach cant find the damn page it's a major problem. If Tort's does not turn it around this season he's gone.
(If my gammer and spelling is wrong...deal with it i'm a hockey player not an english teacher)

chef dave said...

Look no further Kevin. Anonymous #2, what size is your t-shirt? I think you should write an open letter to the players telling them to score more goals & be better. Once they hear it from you I'm sure they will just do that instead the other thing.

Rick said...

I don't care about the line changes as much as I care about having a team that isn't in a constant state of change. Last year we had 14 new faces in the lineup, thats enough for three lines and two Dmen. How do you establish chemistry when you are trying to fit 2nd and 3rd liners into the 1st and 2nd lines? How do you keep lines intact when the PK units are all over the roster and the same can be said for the PP units. Slats created an unworkable mess and relies on the coach to make it work and lsometimes - just sometimes Slats is wrong about putting players together on a roster.

chef dave said...

Also, for the record, I was a part of the Bruins organization from 1980-1984.

Anonymous said...

Dear John,

You are a white-trash Boston schmuck who assaults fans and verbally abuses members of the media when in reality you are a 5 foot 10 scrawny Italian that would get your ass kicked by even the likes of Larry Brooks.

Tender love,
The New York Islanders

AnnoyingJoe said...

wow thats lame. whats next after Snow? the back up trainer for GM? so sad.

sfalcon27 said...

even though the line shuffling played a part in the problem the rangers faced, so did the players that the changes were supposed to affect. The fact that higgins, kotalik, lisin, brashear, drury, redden, rozsival, and gilroy all had lackluster performances the majority of the year (and in some cases the entire year), is not tortorellas fault. While the line shifting was overused at some times, if it was not done, it would be harder to weed out the bad players from the good. Also, it shouldnt have to happen much at all this year considering the rangers roster has strengthened dramatically with the additions of biron, frolov, aasen, emmerson, and (fingers crossed) grachev, and the removal of higgins, brashear, voros, and (hopefully) redden.

LI Joe said...

grachev was pretty bad in ahl last yr. i highly doubt he'll be on rangers to start the season

sfalcon27 said...

Even still, if not grachev, then stepan or any number of other better players to replace one that didnt contribute.

LI Joe said...

stepan s/b a junior in college. in college they play 1/2 the length of a pro season against watered down competition. the last thing stepan needs is to be rushed. a year (at least) in the ahl would best serve him and his future

sfalcon27 said...

again, any number of other, better players.