John Torotrella came to the Rangers with the motto "safe is death." He was going to turn the conservative offense game plan that Tom Renney had implemented and ultimately got him fired into an uptempo, north/south goal scoring juggernaut. At least that's what we thought. Unfortunately, after evaluating his personnel, Torts felt his new team couldn't win with that mentality and installed a system that relied on defense and a tough forecheck to win games.
Now just 24 games into the Alain Vigneault regime, it looks like he might be coming to the same conclusion (via Daily News)…
“(Monday night’s 5-0 loss to the Lightning) was our 24th game, and in 15 of those games we’ve scored two goals or less. That’s a pretty good chunk if you want a segment that tells you what you have. There’s a chunk there that tells us we’re not scoring a lot. Maybe we’ve got to play even tighter to the vest than we are and go into games with that mentality of (trying to win) 2-1.”
…can you say Torts redux? Does this quote scare the crap out of anyone else? AV was brought here to kick start the offense and now he's talking about playing Torts hockey?!?!?!
…the problem right now is this team is caught in between. Unfortunately, AV systems take away a lot of what key Rangers players such as Callahan, Stepan and Girardi did so well. Less forechecking, shot blocking and physical play. It's like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.
…so now a quarter of the way through the season, AV is stuck at a crossroads. Continue on and hope his players begin to get more comfortable in his system or cut his losses and tailor a game plan geared more towards his personnel. Sort of scary. Maybe AV would have been better off doing some research on his players this offseason instead of just giving everyone a "clean slate."
…you would have thought Sather might have properly evaluated how his current roster would have fit in Vigneault system before making the hire. Just because AV has a great offensive scheme, doesn't mean the Rangers have the players to run it.