In an effort to lighten the mood during the lockout, The New York Rangers Blog will be writing faux recaps for every Rangers game missed due to the work stoppage. Enjoy.
Tampa Bay, FL – With the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrating their 20th anniversary of existence this season, they made the unusual request of asking the Rangers if they would allow John Tortorella to switch teams for the night and coach the franchise he helped lead to their only Stanley Cup. And amazingly enough, Glen Sather agreed.
Despite all the feelings of nostalgia in Tampa, the Rangers were still able to defeat the Lightning by the score of 3-1.
"While it was great having Torts behind the bench again, I could have gone without the pregame fitness test he gave us," Vincent Lecavalier said.
Tampa set a record in futility as they went 0-for-12 on the power play. Conversely the Rangers converted on both their extra man opportunities.
"Not sure what happened during his time with the Rangers, but it's like he completely forgot how to run a successful power play unit. That was a strength of our team under his regime. He didn't have any answers tonight," noted Martin St. Louis.
It actually got so bad for Tampa, Tortorella forced former Lightning Conn Smyth winner Brad Richards to switch uniforms in an effort to help out.
"To be honest, I felt bad," exclaimed Richards. "I know how inept our power play is in New York, so I sympathized with those guys."
Recently recalled defenseman Matt Gilroy scored both power play goals for the Rangers as he was inserted into the line-up for an ineffective Michael Del Zotto
After the second Gilroy goal, Rangers assistant coach Mike Sullivan could be heard yelling to Del Zotto in the press box "You better get used to it up there."
Sullivan has received the brunt of the blame for the Rangers power play woes recently, so tonight he felt vindicated…
"I think we all know who the real problem is…cough…Tortorella…cough." explained Sullivan
Meanwhile, NHL leading scorer Steve Stamkos, who scored Tampa's lone goal, said this about his "new" coach:
"Not sure I can remember the last time I received an undressing by a coach the way I did during the second intermission. Now I know what my good friend Del Zotto has to deal with. Yikes."
Carl Hagelin scored an empty netter to seal the victory for the Rangers, while Marty Biron ended the game with 25 saves on 26 shots.
After the game, Tortorella was asked by Rangers Daily News beat writer Pat Leonard what went wrong on power play and he gave this response before storming out of the room…
"Didn't I tell you to stop coaching, Pat."
The Rangers are now 4-1-0 on the season.
To read previous faux recaps, click here.