The Rangers are sliding fast.
The 2013 season, a season so loaded with promise is on the verge of slipping away very quickly.
A team with the reigning Vezina Trophy winning best goalie in the world, a team that came 2 wins from competing for the Stanley Cup just 8 months ago and then added Rick Nash looks like they will struggle to make the playoffs.
This team was built to win the Cup. The experts were tripping over themselves predicting another parade in the Canyon of Heroes. But alas, this is not working out. The Rangers are in danger of becoming the biggest bust on Broadway since Spiderman. The first Spiderman that is, and not the reworked version which is actually quite entertaining.
There is no offense. There is no attack. There is no scoring.
There is absolutely no power play and hasn’t been for a long time.
A look at the offensive statistics in Torts’ three full seasons as head coach plus the 17 games this year.
2010 – 82 GP / 219 GF – 2.67 GPG
2011 – 82 GP / 224 GF – 2.73 GPG
2012 – 82 GP / 222 GF – 2.70 GPG
2013 – 17 GP / 40 GF – 2.37 GPG
And the power play…
2010 – 55/301 – 18.3% – 13th Overall
2011 – 49/290 – 16.9% – 18th Overall
2012 – 44/280 – 15.7% – 23rd Overall
2013 – 7/61 – 11.5% – 29th Overall
The numbers aren’t pretty. The offense, after upticking in 2011, is progressively getting worse.
More alarming, is that the power play, despite the additions of Marian Gaborik in 2010, Brad Richards in 2012 and Rick Nash this off-season is actually getting worse. This is more than a slump or a funk. This is systemic. This is the New York Rangers offense under Coach Tortorella.
The defense, a hallmark of last year’s squad is nowhere near 2012.
There is no sustained pressure and no forecheck.
The Rangers are no longer a tough team to play against.
The team looks lost, unprepared, and uninspired.
Benchings of star players are regular and the youth, while in the lineup, appear to be flat-lining.
This looks very much like 1995 or even worse 1993.
Yes, it is a shortened season with no training camp and very little practice time. And it is well-known how much Tortrorella loves his bag skates and bonding sessions.
But so effing what. Every other team in the National League is in the exact same situation.
The Chicago Black Hawks came into this season with no training camp and have had very little practice time too. How is that working out for them?
And yes, the Rangers have been beset by injuries – this week.
The Ottawa Senators have also been hit by injuries – how is that working out for them?
The coach has not been able to mesh or mold this collection of players into a cohesive unit.
The chemistry looks non-existent. The team’s best forward and best defenseman have been injured by headshots and there has been no response. Tight teams stand up for one another. Tight teams run through walls for their coach. This team tunes theirs out.
This is more than just a 17 game funk. This is more than just a slow start. Coaches get the best out of their players. They make their players overachieve. None of the New York Rangers are playing over their heads. None of the Rangers are having career years.
Every single player on the roster, Henrik Lundqvist included, appears to be regressing or at best treading water. At best. Young players are losing a critical year of development, from a coach who appears to be clueless.
The Rangers have the best goalie on the planet for a precious few years. The window to make a run is short and this team cannot afford to squander these opportunities and cracks at the Cup.
These Rangers are underperforming and that is unacceptable.
Torts has lost this team and it is time for Slats to make a change.
It is time to shake the club.
To save this season.
Torts must go.