New York Rangers‘ head coach John Tortorella thought his team took a “sideways step” this year by failing to meet the expectations set last year and in the offseason before this season. Next year, he will find himself in a must win mode as his job will be up for grabs.
Tortorella is a coach who is not exactly fit for the bright lights of New York. But you can’t argue with his results. In his five years with the team, they have only missed the playoffs once. But still they have not reached the ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup.
Last season, Tortorella finally got a team full of his type of players. His team fit his personality and fit his system. They were the first Rangers team to make it to the Conference Finals since 1997. This could be considered a bad thing for the Rangers and Tortorella because it raised expectations. The Rangers are still a very young team that has players who are still learning how to play. But since last years team did so well, it put a lot of pressure on this years team to take that next step.
But Tortorella had a rough time getting his star players going in this lockout-shortened season. No matter what he says, he clearly had a falling out with forward Marian Gaborik that led to him getting traded. Tortorella’s flawed system also came to a forefront in the playoffs as the Rangers got scored on at will by the defense of the Boston Bruins. Now, the Rangers are out of the playoffs a round earlier than last year and Tortorella’s seat is starting to warm up.
No matter what you say, Tortorella has done a lot of good for this Rangers team. But next season, they have to take the next step if he wants to keep his job.