Warning Shots: Rumble in Vancouver, Torts Memories, and Trade Rumours

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Updated: January 19, 2014
John-Tortorella

In this edition of Warning Shots, we take a look at the aftermath from the line brawl and ensuing shenanigans in outside the visitors locker room at Rogers Arena during last night’s Canucks-Flames game.  Let’s take a peek at the email thread between Canucks fan Ken Hill and Rangers fan Russ “Big Mick” McKenzie:

Ken,

It’s been quite a while.

There were some dark times here in New York but it seems like Alain Vigneault and the Rangers have started to play above .500 hockey. Rick Nash finally heard his critics and started playing in the tough spots. Surprisingly, Brad Richards has found new life. Chris Kreider is a revelation, the one we all knew he would be.

I couldn’t help but notice the events of last night’s Vancouver Canucks game though. It seems like John Tortorella is up to his old antics. I totally respect what he did at the beginning of the game. The Calgary Flames put out their goons, and he matched the line. What I don’t understand is why he felt the need to try and storm the visitors locker room at the first intermission. It seems to me that this is more of a distraction than it is anything else.

I’m surprised that he didn’t completely lose his mind after the 9-1 loss to Anaheim last week. It’s only a matter of time before Torts ticking time bomb goes off.

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Hey Mick, hope you’re doing well.

I had the good fortune of being able to catch that Canucks game as well. Wait, did I say fortune? I meant torture. I know the Canucks don’t have the best reputation around the league, and honestly what happened last night was an embarrassment.
Just when I thought the team was going to turn things around too. We’ve got Alex Edler back in the lineup a few games ago, plus Alex Burrows and Roberto Luongo came back last night too. Those are three huge team leaders that I thought could make a difference. Too bad Calgary had other ideas.
Look, I don’t entirely blame the Flames for what happened last night, but at the same time they knew their only chance to win was to take advantage of Vancouver’s recent frustrations. They weren’t going to win a run-and-gun game, so they went tough. I get that. But the way Tortorella responded…well, it’s nice to see the passion, but the Canucks just aren’t built to win that way.
I see what you mean now about Vigneault being a breath of fresh air for the locker room in New York though. I can’t imagine how nice it must be for guys like Richards to have that pressure of their back. You’re in a playoff spot, but I’m wondering about something. I keep hearing guys like Ryan Callahan and Michael del Zotto come up in trade rumors. Really?! What’s up with that?
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Ken,

We have multiple nicknames for Del Zotto here in New York – Del Zaster, Del Zero… I can go on.

Honestly, Michael Del Zotto is a pretty underwhelming defenseman that just simply hasn’t developed into the player he needs to be. He shows flashes, but has never been very consistent. His days are numbered here, and he’ll move before the deadline. I keep hearing rumblings of a trade with Colorado – possibly Del Zotto, Ryan Borque, and Hrivik for Ryan O’Reilly. We’ll see how that goes.

As far as Ryan Callahan goes… it is my belief that Captain Cally is going nowhere and this is all a part if contract negotiations. He’s going to be a Ranger for a long time.  I don’t believe there’s anything to that rumor.

One of my favorite Torts moments was from a Rangers Devils game in 2012 when Devils coach Pete DeBoer did the same stunt. Torts marched lines and screamed at DeBoer. He told him to go back to juniors. It was epic.

As far as the Rangers is general are concerned, I find it funny that the Rangers aren’t really built for the way Vigneault coaches, either. This awful breakout stretch pass he has them doing… The transition game is still broken. They need to pull a forward back to the defensive side of the blue line instead of having all the forwards pressing forward. That little adjustment would be enough to prevent so many turnovers.

Cheers,

Mick

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Mick,

Thanks for that insight about Del Zotto and Cally. Honestly, I’ve always thought of Del Zotto as being the next great defenseman that would lead the Rangers for the next decade. How he has fallen so far from grace is inexplicable to me. I know that not every young D-man pans out, but he looked like a sure thing to me. As for Callahan, I suspected that was just smoke and mirrors as well. I mean, trading him would be as unthinkable as trading Trevor Linden, right?
I’m wary of the O’Reilly rumors though. He’s been linked to pretty much everybody, including the Canucks, and the fact is that we don’t even know if he’s going to be available when the window for him opens on the 28th. I can’t argue though – he’ll be a great pick-up for any team in the league, should they be able to snag him out of Colorado.
Interesting comments on Vigneault’s style. We’re still getting used to how Torts wants us to play as well. I thought AV loved his defensemen to pinch, but I had no idea it could be like this. The biggest change for us though hasn’t been the system, it’s been the attitude. The mere presence of Torts behind the bench has made such a huge impact on all our players and some, like Ryan Kesler, appear to be thriving while others, like Alex Edler, just can’t seem to fit.
So how about Del Zotto for Edler straight up, sound good? I think both need a change of scenery.
Til next time,
Ken

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