Larry Brooks, in the New York Post, writes a column about John Tortorella and his affect on the team through his first month on the job.
Well, the head coach’s oft-repeated pronouncements that he “isn’t an X’s and O’s guy,” and that the game “isn’t about X’s and O’s,” seem to be hogwash. Indeed, Tortorella appears to be every bit as much about using video to teach as was his predecessor, Tom Renney, not that that’s a bad thing.
Tortorella’s enforcement of accountability is inscrutable, if not arbitrary. His decision not to use Nikolai Zherdev through six rounds of a shootout, in which the Rangers were blanked while losing a critical point in Atlanta last Thursday, seems analogous to penalizing the entire class by keeping everyone after school because one student didn’t turn in a homework assignment on time.
Moreover, when Zherdev, inscrutable himself, by the way, committed a horrific offensive zone hooking penalty on Monday with a 3-0 lead, 5:16 into the third, Tortorella not only didn’t sit the winger, the head coach had him on for a four-on-four his first shift after coming out of the box.