With an influx of new bodies, job security on the Rangers just became scarce.
After last night’s 3-1 loss to the Devils in Newark, coach John Tortorella made a clear declaration things will not stay as they are and he will not keep giving players ice time based on anything other than merit.
“I’ll tell you about our hockey club right now,” Tortorella said, “we have some guys that are really playing hard, and we have some guys that look scared to me, and tentative.”
Two who came out on the good end were rookie Chris Kreider, who scored his first career regular-season goal after missing the past five games with an ankle injury, and 19-year-old center J.T. Miller, a plus-1 in making his NHL debut.
“Very happy with Kreider, I thought he played well,” Tortorella said. “I thought Miller was hard on the puck, did some really good things. So we’ll see where we go with our lineup, but I’ll tell you right now, we’re not waiting.
“They’re probably going to take some people’s jobs.”
It was waiting that got the Rangers (4-5-0) into an early hole against a Devils team (5-1-3) that — to nobody’s surprise — still has an uncanny knack for winning big games. Adam Henrique, who ended the Rangers’ season in overtime of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals last May, opened the scoring 5:00 in with a nifty snap shot after turnovers from both Marian Gaborik and Michael Del Zotto.
David Clarkson then got the first of his two goals with under a minute left when Rick Nash couldn’t corral the puck at his feet.
And when the Rangers tried to mount a comeback, they were met by old nemesis Martin Brodeur, who was outstanding in making 24 saves.
“It always feels good to play well against a big rival, in a big game,” a smiling Brodeur said.
‘Scared’ Rangers steam Tortorella in loss to Devils
New York Post | Feb 6