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March 13, 2009

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Steve Zipay quotes Tortorella.."I thought we were hard on the puck the last 40 minutes of the game,". That quote, after a question regarding the benching of Zherdev, tells me it was Z's lazy exit from the attacking zone that got to Torts. Maybe it was at the end of a shift, I don't know. What I do know is, any coach wants to see his star players busting their butts to get back in plays. Zherdev didn't, so to the pines he goes. Good call by Torts. And yes, the reasons stay in the room...but to me, this one is obvious.

I wonder if when Brodeur breaks Patrick Roy's win record and shutout record if they'll also always mention that he's had the benefit of shootout wins in his last 4 years, and even the added benefit of clutch and grab hockey for about a decade, when he finally gets it done?

I just have to also wonder why should Zherdev be treated like a baby? If he pouts and performs worse after this benching then ultimately he is NOT the type of player we want on our team ... we have enough passengers as it is, we need players who hold themselves accountable and rise to the occassion ... Zherdev is talented enough to be much better and at this point in the season he should be ...

I liked the fact that Naslund got the LEAST amount of ice time amoung the forwards last night with the exception of Colton Orr and the benched Z ... I liked the fact that Redden got the least amount of ice time on D besides Paul Mara ...

Let's see what happens this weekend ... as I said a couple of days ago our team needed to beat Nashville and then if not getting the full 4 points vs Philly this weekend, at the very least they must have 3 points ... But I hope that at this point in time they start going into games with only winning in mind and getting 2 points and that anything less than that is truly unacceptable ... and not Gomez's variety of unacceptable ... although I can't hate on Gomez as he's played much better as of late ...

Joe T,

I just saw this ... from the previous thread ..

>>> Did anyone think the first Nashville goal was soft? (waiting to hear from you Matty.) >>>

LOL that was a goal that Henrik would love to have back, and I think you are mistaken if you think that my love for Henrik blinds me to goals that he should stop ... No that isn't it ... what ticks me off is the many great saves that he makes which enable our team to get a victory that they otherwise might not have gotten and all people seem to love to harp on "He gave up a soft goal there..." instead of talking about all the great saves he made that kept us in the game ...

Bill -- actually, that quote came before the question about Z -- that was in direct response to what he saw on the ice after the first intermission after he refused to say what went on in the locker room during intermission.

I too thought Zherdev's backchecking was suspect on that play until I looked at the replay -- the opposite winger, Avery, came back at the exact speed and took the same position as Zherdev, so I think they were just doing what they were supposed to do as fourth and fifth guys back, which was to take the points.

The key will be how Tortorella handles Zherdev today. Does he talk with him, explain why he was benched and what he wants from him? Or does he let him stew in it? Zherdev strikes me as a kid that lacks confidence. Hitchcock was clearly the wrong coach for him, and Tortorella may also be. Renney the Coddler was the right coach for him. We'll see. I hope Torts has a positive effect on Aherdev and makes him a better, more consistent player. The jury is out, IMO.

I am not a fan of Brodeur but be real. this guy is if not the best of all time in the top 3. he lost in 94, 15 yrs ago and he is still going strong...

Zherdev hopefully will provide a better effort we need him to be good and he can. he is there only really talented offensive player. Dubi plays hard but man he makes many mistakes. His high sticking last night was just knucklehead ville all the way. he needs to speed up his release.

Dubi

It looked to me that the door was open and Avery was just coming on the ice. Maybe with the door open Zherdev thought he was the one coming off, I don't know. But you can see he really slows down at our blueline while Drury is busting up the ice. I'm looking at a replay of the goal from the Rangers website. Sure looks like a "coast" to me. When I coached youth hockey, that kind of play would get my player benched for a shift or two. I understand what the last two guys back need to do, but all 5 Rangers were below the top of the faceoff circle while only 3 Preds were in deep. The Preds also made a line change. So if they were supposed to be back, they weren't. My point is if Drury almost got back, Zherdev should have been able to have some impact on the play. Yes, a goal still could have been scored, but Zherdev dogged it, not good if Tortorella is your coach!

I'm a little surprised about the tone of this post today. I do not think it's an apples-to-apples comparison to look back to a game 4 months ago when they had a different coach, different players, and played a different system. Back then, if they came out flat the next two games, there was still time to turn things around. Not now. If they drop more than 5 or 6 games the rest of the way, they're in trouble. Plus, Torts has an entirely different set of standards for these guys. Just ask Redden and Naslund if it's different now than it was in November. Even if safety-first Tom would have cut someone's minutes, everyone knew all too well that it would only be for maybe 1 game(hence why they never really grew or learned from their mistakes, IMO). No matter what happened, top salaries were getting top minutes under Renney. Well, not anymore.

Tom Renney is no longer coaching this team for a reason. I do not think Torts is going to let up. His entire reputation is that he never does...

Stuart,

Believe it or not ... I wasn't knocking Brodeur ... I was just pointing out that he has benefit a lot, like Henrik, from Shootout wins which were not part of the sport during Patrick Roy's years in which he set the all-time victory record by goalies ... my point wasn't to downplay Brodeur's accomplishments as much as I hate him, my point was to point out that when people talk about Brodeur and the record that he will soon break I haven't seen anywhere where people go "But he's had the added benefit of the shootout in is last 4 seasons" ... whereas when talking about Henrik's accomplishments as far as wins go that almost always gets brought up as a footnote ...

Matty

I agree with you.For some reason nobody have mentioned it.NOT ONCE.

This whole issue with shootouts, etc. is a canard. In reality, there are many issues that prevent a direct comparison of goaltenders from various eras, such as differences in equipment for both goalies and players, the rules of the game and how they are enforced, the number of games played in a season, and the like. Goalies in each era had certain advantages and disadvantages. Even in the same era, it is difficult to compare goaltenders if they play on considerably different teams. Would Brodeur have done the same had he played on those awful Rangers teams from 1998-2004? Would Richter have the same numbers as Brodeur had he played across the Hudson? These are the things we will never know.

Dugie will play in Brooklyn and NJ

http://www.ephl.com
FORMER RANGER RON DUGUAY SIGNS EPHL CONTRACT

Ex-NHLer set to lace them up for both Brooklyn Aces & Jersey Rockhoppers
Becomes 2nd oldest player to play in a professional game


Today, at the Essex County Richard J. Codey Arena at South Mountain (West Orange, New Jersey) and the Aviator Sports and Recreation Center in Brooklyn, Jersey Rockhoppers ownership Curt Russell and Igor Mrotchek and Brooklyn Aces team owner, Alan Friedman announced the signing of former New York Rangers player and 12 year NHL veteran Ron Duguay to a two game contract with the Eastern Professional Hockey League.

Duguay will play for the Brooklyn Aces on Saturday, March 21st at 7:30 when the club hosts the Jersey Rockhoppers at the Aviator Sports and Recreation Center. The following day, Sunday, March 22nd, Duguay will dress for the Rockhoppers as they take on Danbury Mad Hatters in a 5:30 pm tilt.

As part of Duguay’s signing, the EPHL will be joining forces with Ron to promote the Madison Square Garden charitable organization, The Garden of Dreams. Throughout both games the teams will be conducting auctions of hockey memorabilia and special opportunities to benefit this fund.

Ron is the second former New York Rangers player to appear for the Brooklyn Aces organization this season, as earlier in the year former Ranger and New York native, Nick Fotiu served as an Assistant Coach for one game.

Ron Duguay was drafted in the first round of 1977 NHL Draft. He was selected by the New York Rangers with the 13th overall pick. Ron’s best professional season came in the 1981-82 season with the New York Rangers when he scored 40 goals and had 36 assists. Duguay played in the 1978-79 Stanley Cup Final against the Montreal Canadiens, and in 860 career regular season games scored 274 goals.

Ron last played professionally in the 2002-03 season for the Jacksonville Barracudas of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League. In six games, Duguay recorded 1 goal 3 assists. Ron’s last NHL season was in the 88-89 season for the Los Angeles Kings.

At 51 years old, Ron Duguay is now the 2nd oldest player to play in a professional hockey game. Gordie Howe played a shift at 69 years old for the Detroit Vipers of the IHL. Prior to that, Howe played his last season for the Hartford Whalers at 52 years old. Other notable NHL players to come out of retirement include Mario Lemieux and Guy LaFleur.

The EPHL is completing its inaugural 50 game season. The league consists of four teams, the Jersey Rockhoppers, Brooklyn Aces, Danbury Mad Hatters, and Hudson Valley Bears. The opening game of the playoffs is set for Thursday, March 26th in Brooklyn in a best of three series.

On Saturday (3/21) in Brooklyn, prior to the Aces 7:30 pm game, there will a hockey exhibition game between the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and the Boston Fire Department. The puck drops for the Fire Department game at 5:30. One ticket is good for admission to both games. Fans interested in purchasing tickets can call 718-977-5930 or log onto the team website at www.BrooklynAces.com.

Sunday’s game (3/22) in New Jersey starts at 5:30 pm. Following the game, fans can skate with the team on the ice. To purchase tickets in New Jersey, call 973-713-7547 or log onto the team website at www.jerseyrockhoppers.com.

This weekend the Aces are home on Friday, March 13th & Saturday, March 14th which is American Heart Association Night. Game time for both games is 7:30 pm. The Rockhoppers are home in Jersey on Sunday, March 15th for Military Appreciation Day. Start time is 5:30 pm

Chris -- All's well that ends well, and Torts took control and got the desired result. But are you not a little, um, I don't know, concerned that these players would follow up their first period in Carolina with an identical first period in Nashville (worse, because they wasted a goal and fell behing) and require that kind of intervention in Torts's SEVENTH game as head coach?

You're right, Renney is no longer coaching this team for a reason. He tried these tactics (his version of them) four months ago, secured a temporary turnaround from the players, and then got diminishing returns as time went on. I'm just a tad annoyed that they would do this to Torts so quickly. It says something about their character -- at least some of them, obviously not the guys who bust their ass game in game out regardless of the circumstances.

Now if Torts could just get rid of some of the dead wade oops I mean weight...Z

Dubi - I thought the Rangers were actually pretty good in the 1st period in Carolina. While they didnt possess the puck as much as Coach T would have liked, they pressured Carolina quite a bit and made them work hard just to get our of their zone.

Agree with your premise though, as given how ineffective the Rangers were in the 2nd and 3rd in RDU, you'd think they would have been ready to go hard in the 1st in Nashville (and it wouldnt have taken a between period scolding to get them going).

Sneaking suspicion here that this team may just not have the mental toughness to go 60 minutes consistently under ANY system (ie. Renny's or Tortorella's). Hope I'm worng.

you can never compare players from different era's in any sport. the equipment was different, the training was different, etc.

brodeur who I despise is a great goalie and top 3 since the goalie mask at worst.

staal is our Larry Robinson and Girardi is better then some think, his offense is down for some reason this year. hopefully zherdev will play well saturday...

Would like to see Zherdev given a chance to redeem himself in the third. If he screwed up for that shift, bench him the rest of the game. Most likely, he would be all fired up and play hard for the rest of the game. I don't think you should leave the game feeling embarrassed. You can make a point to the player and still give him an opportunity to redeem himself all in the same game. His goal is to let Zherdev know he's accountable and he's an important part of the team. We'll see in the next few games how he reacts. Is Z saying, here's another Hitchcock?

The fundamental problem with this team is that the players who get the most ice time haven't always performed. That isn't Z. Torts is reducing their ice time and rewarding those who are going well (which is good). I'd like to see his benching more aligned with that.

wwwc9, I totally agree with you.
40 minutes benching is BS.
Kid will lose respect to Tort.
I wish I am wrong!

If Z loses respect for Torts after that benching and sulks then you know what type of player you have. I was the guy advocating trading him before the deadline because I see many things in his play that tell me he's not playing for the team but for himself. I hope he turns it around because it's plain to see he could be a real force. As for Naslund, he just looks like he's out of shape to me. Sometimes when players aren't doing well they are hurt but still playing. I wonder if this is the case with Naslund.

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