LCS Hockey: Born Again
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June 26, 2019
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Blame Tortorella

John Tortorella

Wow, do I want to rip Donald Brashear.

But here’s the problem: I’m working on this whole spiritual-evolution thing, and it’s tough to embrace the Brahma and still hurl vitriolic insults at others. So nowhere in this article will I refer to Brashear as a “stupid rotten miserable jackass” or a “gutless oaf” or even a “two-bit punk.” Nor will I question his amorous attitudes towards goats or offer an appraisal of his obviously stunted intellect. Those days are over.

After all, why should I care if Brashear is a talentless douche who embarrasses the league and disrespects the sport each time he dons a pair of skates? We’re all one. Be the change you want to see in the world. I believe it best if I merely refrain from elbowing diminutive fourth-line centers in the head and leave Brashear to the good people at MTV’s “Bully Beatdown.”

But how do the stripes miss that call? At least Paul Mara stepped up and answered the bell. Granted, he didn’t exactly let his hands go, but at least he tried. That’s more than can be said for the rest of the Rangers. Good man, Mara.

Again, forgive the digression into unenlightened thought, but where’s the retribution? And you don’t go after Brashear. Who cares if that worthless cement head gets punched in the face? If Brashear wants to take cheap shots at guys, then Mike Green, Alexander Semin, and even Captain Caveman himself need to lose a pound of flesh. Brashear pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Ranger way!

Colton Orr didn't even dress. Orr has to be in the lineup. Brashear even tried to pick a fight with him in warm-ups, so the Blueshirts had to know there was trouble ahead. I mean, what was John Tortorella thinking?

Oh wait. Tortorella was too busy squirting water at unruly fans to worry about personnel decisions. Never mind.

Tortorella mangled this whole series. He should have never benched Sean Avery for Game Five. Yes, Avery did take two ridiculous penalties late in Game Four, but the Rangers still won. That should have been a rallying point for the team. Everyone should have felt good about it. They bailed out their teammate who made a stupid mistake.

Instead, Tortorella the Terrible benched Avery for not adhering to the team-first concept, turning the positive into a momentum-shattering negative. Way to go, Torts. You’re the tops. Normally I’d say you’re a pedantic, egotistical windbag, but we’re all one. We’re all one.

And how can Tortorella ever preach sacrifice and the importance of team again after he flipped out because some fat dude in the stands said some mean things about him? Way to take one for the team, coach.

Pin this entire debacle on Tortorella. He let his players down. It’s his fault the Rangers are going to lose this series. Forget the refs. Forget Markus Naslund’s fondness for ignoring open nets in favor of stickhandling into a goalie’s pads. Forget Nikolai Zherdev being a timid little girl. Forget Henrik Lundqvist looking like a minor-leaguer two straight games. Forget all that. It begins and ends with Tortorella.

That said, what gives with Lundqvist? He had a chance to close out a series on home ice and came up Darren Pang small. Those first two goals were brutal. And I sure as hell don’t need him shaking his head and looking at his defensemen after Milan Jurcina beats him high short-side from another zip code.

New York’s only chance in Game Seven is for Lundqvist to stand tall. The Rangers are going to have to win 1-0 or 2-1. This team can’t score three goals. And there’s no way Betts will play, so that’s a huge hit to the penalty kill.

Brandon Dubinsky may also be out after Shaone Morrisonn allegedly bit him during a scrum. Dubinsky had to get a tetanus shot. Stay classy, Washington.

Whether one believes in a universal consciousness or not, there can be no denying the existence of the Hockey Gods. And they tend to frown on things like blindsided elbows and vampirism.

So even though Game Seven is shaping up to be a massacre in Washington’s favor, stranger things have happened. It only takes one bad bounce.

And I hope it’s a close game. Because I can’t wait to see Ovechkin get a glorious chance to win the series and throw the puck in the corner. That’s the best.

LCS Hockey: Born Again
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