Every coach in every sport has their expiration date. And today was the expiration date for New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella. It was largely expected in The Big Apple, because they fell short on their high expectations this season.
With a roster deep in offensive talent, they struggled on the power play during both the regular season (23rd) and playoffs (15th). Last year they scored fewer than three goals in all but one of their 20 playoff games. This year they averaged 2.2 goals per game and the lack of offense played in a role in their five-game series loss to Boston.
Don’t be surprised of players spoke to general manager Glen Sather requesting a change of some sort. The comments made by Henrik Lundqvist at the end of the season was pretty damaging. What did he say? Keep reading.
I think it’s a –- it is a step back. We went to the conference finals last year, we had high expectations for ourselves this year; it didn’t go our way. So yeah, this is a step back, but it’s tough to make it there.
“You can’t just expect it to happen. You have to work really hard, and you have to do a lot of things right, and you have to have a lot of good bounces on the way to make it there.”
It’s likely it rang a bell with Sather and other Rangers brass, since his contract expires at the end of next season and has been noncommittal about signing an extension. He’s hands-down the team MVP for several seasons running and is also the reigning Vezina Award runner and is a finalist again this year. Not saying that the inmates run the prison, but players of his caliber and value you want to keep happy.
Sather said he would like a new head coach in place by the NHL Draft next month in Newark, N.J. No names have been discussed as of yet, but expect interviews to conduct this week extending to next week.
If you would like to honor Tortorella one last time, feel free to watch his best soundbites with the media.