During his conference call yesterday John Tortorella addressed benching players in the wake of his sitting Marian Gaborik in the third period in Game 2 (via Blueshirts United)…
“I think all coaches do it. You’re trying to put players into situations that are going to try to help you to win games or help you in certain situations and momentum swings. Conversely, some guys when you just don’t think it’s working, they don’t see the ice or they don’t get the minutes. So those are decisions that we make every game. You guys like calling them benchings and all that stuff, but as coaches we’re trying to find a way to win a hockey game, and we make decisions accordingly.”
Tortorella would not talk specifically about his benching of Gaborik.
…after having a day to think about Torts decision to sit Gaborik, I’m a little less down on it. Torts has the Rangers three wins away from the Stanley Cup Finals, so I think I need to give him the benefit of the doubt here. Torts is making decisions that will help the Rangers win the series, not just individual games. So if Torts decides that sending a message to Gaborik for a game is going to help the team long term, I’m going to have to stand by it. Also, while I killed it at the time, maybe dropping Kreider to the 4th line was the right decision as the Ranger still defeated the Capitals and now Kreider is dominating. Hard to argue with those results.