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Inside the NHL: Rangers buying into Tortorella’s system

Weekly look Inside the NHL
* The New York Rangers are winners of four straight and are off to a 4-1 start. A lot of the credit for the Rangers hot start goes to head coach John Tortorella.
He’s getting the most out of an average group of defensemen; they’ve been aggressive in the neutral zone causing turn-overs and are jumping up in the play creating offense.
A positive sign for the Rangers through five games: 17 Goals For and only 10 goals against.
*The Atlanta Thrashers are averaging four goals per game and are an exciting team to watch. For them to compete though, the penalty kill will have to improve.
*The Boston Bruins ran away with the Northeast Division last year. That won’t be the case this year. Despite a slow start, Boston is still the team to beat but Ottawa, Buffalo and Montreal are improved.
*Washington has given up 18 goals in five games. They are the most dynamic offensive team in the NHL but they have the same question marks that they had last year at goaltender and on defense.
*Carolina 2-3-0 has the look of a team that will take a step back this season. Lack depth on their blueline to matchup against Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Washington in the East.
* The Leafs are a league worst 0-3-1. They made a number of personnel changes this summer but it’s the same story as last year with the Leafs; Undiscipline, poor goaltending and the penalty kill is horrid.
*Also did Tomas Kaberle even play against Pittsburgh? Leafs fans are losing patience with him. He doesn’t show up in big games.
*The Minnesota Wild are off to a 1-3 start and have only scored 10 goals in four games. The Wild don’t have the personnel to play an up-tempo style that they want to play under Todd Richards. Petr Sykora and Martin Havlat were benched on Thursday against LA.
*The Av’s signing of goaltender Craig Anderson was the most-under-rated signing of the summer.
*The Red Wings have a tough road ahead of them to repeating as Central Division Champions. St. Louis, Chicago and Columbus all have the potential to win that division. Nashville is also a tough out on any given night.
*If anyone thinks Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo are locks as the No.1 and No.2 goaltenders for Team Canada, they don’t know how Mike Babcock operates.
Babcock won’t be pressured to play Brodeur just because he’s Martin Brodeur. Brodeur has not been the same goalie since getting injured last year.
If Marc Andre Fleury is the better of the two when the Olympics come around, Fleury will have an opportunity to prove himself. Babcock doesn’t operate like the old regime did under Gretzky.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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