Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Brooks: Do the Rangers simply miss Tortorella, or were the Rangers nothing more than Tortorella?

12/15/2013 at 5:14am EST

The New York Post's Larry Brooks penned a Sunday column which does include his usual amount of GM-playing, but his focus upon the New York Rangers' struggles involves the team's new coach, Alain Vigneault, more than potential unrestricted free agents:

The Rangers have gone from having a maniacal control freak and his equally maniacal assistant (in professional temperament, that is) in their ears and faces to a seemingly detached coach who leaves much of the work to the players themselves.

The maniacal control freak and assistant would be John Tortorella and Mike Sullivan, respectively.

I asked one player this week whether he had been shown video relating to a specific play on the ice. The response, not offered as a criticism but in a matter-of-fact manner, was, “He says what he says and then expects you to figure it out.”

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a coach unfavorably compare his team’s work ethic to another club’s the way Vigneault did last week in his evaluation of the Rangers and the Red Wings.

I watch Tortorella from afar and see a man who sure seems to have learned from the mistakes that cost him his job in New York, and if that is indeed true, more power to him (and Vancouver GM Mike Gillis).

See, you don’t just get to fire a coach, replace him with his polar opposite in demeanor, and not expect that the consequence of the dramatic shift in dynamics will be examined.

Success is the only way that the comparisons cease.

A fundamental problem as exposed through the first 10 weeks of the season is that the Rangers have no identity because Tortorella — for better or worse — was their identity.

Continued

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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