Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Camping In The Garden

Last week John Tortorella spoke to and reiterated the feelings towards the team that he has expressed since the loss to the Caps:
"I worry about our mental toughness. And I don't want to insult anybody, but I think the whole dynamic there, I think we're a soft team as far as thinking. The organization treats the players very well, they have a great practice facility, it's New York City ... I think we need to stiffen up a little bit. That's the biggest thing - we need to be a stiffer team in our thinking as we play games."
Well, right there is one big way to thicken the skin of the team and make them tougher: take them out of that great practice facility and put them before the toughest critics of them all ... us.

If you haven't seen it, the facility is amazing. But, unlike Rye Playland, it has no room for viewing (aside from a small press area). It is not meant for the fans; it is purely for the players. And, as Torts has inferred, it has helped spoil them. I was lucky enough to get a tour of the place (thank you season ticket rep) and the place is fantastic and is truly first class - from the Mike Richter silver goal in the lobby (if that's still there) to the cushy carpeting of the locker room to the perfect sheet of ice.

According to the only events scheduled between September 5th and 28th are two Liberty games and the three pre-season games. Players report to camp for physicals on Saturday the 12th, get on the ice the 13th (while the Liberty have a game at the Garden) and then play their first preseason game on the 15th against the Bruins.

Aerosmith cancelled their show on the 14th so that's perfect. Bring the boys down from their Palisades palace and put them on the Penn Plaza ice. Think Wade Redden will do half-assed suicides when there are thousands of folks waiting to pounce? It would give the prospects a glimpse of the Garden Faithful. It would give Tortorella a chance to prove he is as tough as he claims to be.

It would also - one would hope - give the team an opportunity to interact with the fans. No flights to catch, no hung heads from a disappointing loss, no late night ahead. Sign some autographs, take pictures, shake hands, renew our faith heading into a season where we really don't know what to expect. We know Hank is back but will be defending his Olympic gold in February, we know ticket prices went up, we know our rivals all got better. Making the team train on the Garden ice for a day won't kill them, it will only make them stronger. This is a win-win situation. Let's go Rangers, make it happen.


Steve N. said...

He's right- we should be less Ivan Drago and more Rocky Balboa. Who is our toughest player mentally? Drury? Redden? Where's Messier? Graves? That team seems so much tougher than what we've got today... So much more grit and edge.

Jessie said...

Oh please. YOu think it is the practice rink that is spoiling them? How about their plane, the full time chef at the rink, the access to everything they could possibly dream of. Yeah...the practice facility is spoiling them...

The bottom line is, Sather brings in soft skill in place of character guys--case in point the Tyutin for Zherdev trade.

Redden is a flake and Drury has more miles than the I-40 on him. Callahan, Dubinsky, Staal, that is where it is at, but Sather will probably muck up and sign too many FA's at too much money and won't be able to manage his roster properly.

It isn't the org. that spoils them, the players are flakey to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Sather should be raped with a flaming hockey stick until he dies, then be shot into the east river from a catapult atop Penn Plaza.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog, it's great! I thought I read an article that Messier was coming back to the Rangers as an assistant GM? I'm pretty excited about that. The Moose is great. LLS is an awesome charity too.

Derek B Felix said...

Interesting suggestion. I'd love to see it but what does it really matter where they practice? At the end of the day, it means nothing if they don't perform during the season.

And I fail to see how every rival improved. The Pens lost two key D and a scorer and the Devils haven't done jack. Yet they're better just cause of who they are.

Scotty Hockey said...

I agree, half of these guys are flakes, but it would be nice to teach them a bit of a lesson. Or at least give them an understanding. And since we can't get them back into the old iron lung, it is a start.

Kovy - the Pens got better because they learned to win. Sure they lost Rob Scuderi and some other extra parts but Crosby has sipped from Stanley and that can't be matched. As for the Devils - you are right, they didn't do much of anything. But, like the Pens, they are better just for getting older. Parise learned to be a superstar, Mmmmaaaaarrrttyyy is coming in healthy and they will have a new, motivated coach.

And thanks IMBF. LLS is a cause close to me so I was happy to put them up here.

Unknown said...

i agree with that we need more european soccer style songs and chants. i dont know if you've ever been to a ny redbulls game, but they have a ton of songs (a lot in spanish). some of them can be altered to fit the rangers needs. for example (to the tune of 'my bonnie')

if i had the wings of a sparrow
if i had the arse of a crow
i'd fly right over long island/new jersey/philadelphia/pittsburgh
and shit on those bastards below
shit on
shit on
shit on those bastards below
shit on
shit on
shit on those bastards below