by Patrick Hoffman on 12/18/09 at 05:54 PM ET
From Brad Kurtzberg at Inside Hockey:
John Tortorella can throw all the temper tantrums he wants, but it won’t solve the problems currently facing the New York Rangers.
Yes, the Rangers ended their five-game losing streak with a good but not great performance on Long Island Thursday night. But Tortorella can’t lose his temper after every loss (well, maybe he can) and the Rangers remain a team with fundamental flaws that go beyond benching Wade Redden and Ales Kotalik.
The Rangers scored five goals at the Nassau Coliseum Thursday after scoring two goals or fewer in seven straight contests. Scoring has been a real problem for Rangers all season. Looking at their lineup, the Rangers have 92 goals scored on the season in 34 games. But there is no balance to speak of. Marian Gaborik has scored 24 times (more than 26 percent of the team’s total) while no other Ranger has more than nine tallies. The Rangers lack scoring depth and it makes them rely too heavily on the goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist to keep them in games.
The Rangers are up near the limit set by the salary cap but they are receiving very poor value from most of their players with big contracts. Chris Drury, who signed a big free agent contract a few years ago, has just 3 goals and 10 points in 29 games and has a plus/minus of -9. Tortorella played Drury on the fourth line last night, but the Rangers are paying him like he’s one of the top five centers in the game.
Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival are being paid like top 10 defensemen, but their play has been inconsistent both offensively and defensively. Both of these players were supposed to be part of the Blueshirts power play but both have only one power play assist on the season. There is too much money tied up in these players who are paid like they are among the game’s elite but play like they are average at best.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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