Tom Renney had to go, obviously. Glen Sather’s gotta cover his own ass for all those terrible free agent and personnel moves, so scapegoating Renney (who did himself no favors with his insane line-juggling) was bound to happen.
New theory: John Tortorella’s job isn’t to get the Rangers anywhere worth going this year, it’s keeping the ship on a straight course for the Port of Noplayoffs. Think about it. The Rangers are 10th in the league, but five points and a couple games in hand out of 18th. They’re a horribly incomplete team with loads of bad contracts and they’re going nowhere. Why bother to change that at this late juncture?
Glen Sather is not a stupid man (well…), and he may have learned from the lessons of the past.
A certain general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers once inexplicably saved his job, squeaking appallingly mediocre awful team into the playoffs by making a few trades that badly damaged his franchise’s future. The Thrashers, a mere two years later, are a few months away from back-to-back bottom-three finishes in the league. If Don Waddell still has a job come Draft day, it will either be through a miracle or indifference.
Sather does not want this to happen to him. So he now gets to have this team coast farther and father down in the standings until they crash out of the playoffs in a spectacular blaze of glory — maybe they squeeze out a few trades by the deadline, even! — and, at the end of the season, he can just throw his hands up and go, “F’n Renney, man. Ruined the goddamn team!”
That said, it looks like Tortorella’s off to a great start on Broadway with this 2-1 shootout loss.
Glen Sather, you’re a genius.
Philadelphia 2, Los Angeles 0
The Kings are making progress. Last year, they would have lost a game in which they outshot their opponent 34-20 by like four or five goals. Jason LaBarbera and all that. Now they only lose them 2-0. The Kings actually looked really good, and Erik Ersberg made a number of ridiculous saves, but what’re ya gonna do? Jeff Carter’s playing his ass off right now.
Pittsburgh 1, New York Islanders 0
Two teams ranging from bad to slightly-less-than-bad playing in a 1-0 contest. Wow, that’s great. I’m so glad I didn’t see a second of this game.
Detroit 4, San Jose 1
I think we’ve all been sleeping on Detroit. This game wasn’t nearly as lopsided as a three-goal margin would indicate. San Jose had a goal waived off, and Ty Conklin made several huge stops to keep Detroit up. It’s also interesting to note that the Red Wings scored all four goals that were the result of hard-working finesse and sticking with the play, which is an odd thing to say. Marian Hossa’s goal was the result of his good play to hold onto the puck along the boards, spin off a defender and walk in uncontested for a good, hard shot from the circle. Kirk Maltby did good job to keep the puck at the point of attack and that led to Ville Leino’s mid-air tap-in. Hank Zetterberg scored a pretty goal on a partial break in which he was forced off his line and stuck with the play, putting a low turnaround shot in the net’s vicinity and having it go in. Zetterberg’s second goal, a change-of-direction wraparound, was a very nice piece of deception as well. If they can keep that skill level and still work that hard, there’s no way they can’t challenge for a Stanley Cup, bad goaltending or no.