Sunday, January 30, 2011

NHLPA Poll: Tortorella Voted Most Demanding Coach; Where Do Other Rangers Rank?

This year’s NHLPA player survey has the New York Rangers featured prominently in many of the results.  This morning CBC posted the results on their site, so let’s see how the Rangers came out in some of the different categories.
Among the coaches, John Tortorella was voted the most demanding coach and also finished second in the voting for coach players would least like to play for.  That is not altogether surprising, but one has to wonder if the results of the poll were based on past seasons and not this “new” version of Torts that seems to have emerged this year.  I would say he is still one of the most demanding guys in the game, but not sure that he would rank as high in terms of least like to play for.
Among the goalies, Henrik Lundqvist was voted the fourth most difficult goalie to score on behind Roberto Luongo, Ryan Miller and Tim Thomas.  This season I could buy Tim Thomas being ahead of him, and even Ryan Miller based on last year, but Luongo never should be.  Maybe they want to have a re-vote after last night’s skills competition.
Marian Gaborik was listed as the best skater in the NHL and also the fastest skater.  I have always thought of Gaborik is as a very good and extremely quick skater, but he has never really popped to the forefront of fastest skaters in the league.
Among the tough guys, Derek Boogaard was voted the toughest player in the NHL.  Not really sure what the criteria were for this particular category, but if it is about a combination of guts and strength I am certainly voting for Brandon Prust.
Madison Square Garden was voted the second worst ice in the NHL behind the Florida Panthers rink.  Despits having awful ice MSG was also listed behind the Montreal and the Chicago as the rink players like most to play in.  The only way to reconcile the awful ice with the fact that the players love playing in MSG is the fans the Rangers have.  Every game at the Garden the place has a buzz to go along with the history of the building itself, so give yourselves a pat on the back Rangers fans.
Finally the Rangers were listed fourth as the team most players would like to play on.  This again needs some reconciling considering players don’t want to play for Tortorella and the fact that the team has not been in contention in some time.  The best explanations are the fans, the city and the building.

In non-Rangers news it seems clear that 24/7 helped the image of both Dan Bylsma and Bruce Boudreau.  Blysma was voted the coach they most want to play for, while Boudreau was voted the easiest to play for.