“It’s the start of a new era. We’re 0-0. It’s a 21-game season,” said team captain Chris Drury about the New York Rangers as they began their “second season” under new Coach John Tortorella.
Their new coach comes to the team with a reputation of breathing fire-and-brimstone, although few of the players have any history with Tortorella. Defenseman Paul Mara played for the coach during three seasons at Tampa Bay.
The Lightning fired the coach at the end of last season. This year he has been working with TSN, the Canadian Television Sports Network, as a hockey commentator.
It’s a safe hockey bet that he added some “color” to that commentary.
Tortorella brings a hard-nosed philosophy to the Rangers at a time when the team is in disarray. The record of his tenure at Tampa reveals that he expects the most from his players… and that he will give his best to them.
He operates on the philosophy that if you can get a player to believe in himself and a team to believe in itself you have won the battle… the rewards will follow. Tampa’s Stanley Cup win is proof that he has the ability to bring out the best in his players. Coaching in New York will put his whole repertoire of talents to the test once again.
New York began the season on top of their division and in control of their own destiny. For unknown reasons, the team began a freefall that has them in jeopardy of not even making the playoffs.
Not sure of all the influences that caused the team to slide, Tortorella said, “Losing knocks you down. I’m going to push them, but as a coach, you also have to understand when to be with them. I think this is a time to try to get them to feel decent about themselves. I think they’re a little bit beat up.”
John Tortorella has a tall order to fill in New York. But, he just might be the man for the job!
Andy Morris… hockey betting analyst