Monday, May 17, 2010

A Dear John (Tortorella) Letter

Dear John,

How's your summer going? I imagine you've got quite the tan going right around now. Hopefully, your blood pressure is returning to normal. Well, normal for you, anyway.

First, I should say I loved you as a commentator on TV. When you said on TSN how you think Sean Avery is a little punk, and how you'd give him the boot from your team, it was great. When you then got hired to coach the Rangers and had to take charge of said little punk, it was hilarious. You're quite the funny guy, John.

Speaking of your time as Rangers coach, you didn't have much of a year, did you? Well, what did you expect, when you signed on to work for Glen Sather, the heir-apparent to the Mike Milbury Worst GM In History title? He's taken an interesting approach to the competition. Where Milbury traded away anything resembling talent in exchange for expensive guys without much talent, your boss just signs every free agent on the market at overblown prices, then hopes they somehow turn themselves into a team. Good luck to the coach, in this case, you, in that situation. Anyway, I digress.

Your boss did a nice job unloading Scott Gomez on my Habs. Gomez has a lot of good points, but his contract isn't one of them. (Still, his post-season experience and hard-working attitude have been beneficial during these playoffs, so we can let some of the contract-related bitterness go (for now.) Again, I digress.) That trade allowed good old Glen to run out and get you Marian Gaborik. This was great for you. Gaborik stayed mostly healthy for the first time since puberty and had a great year for you. He figured in something like 97.8% of Rangers goals and was the first real, productive star you guys have had in fifteen years.

So, forgive me for bringing this up during your dreamtime summer break, but I have to ask: Why the hell didn't you use Gaborik in the shootout that would have gotten you into the playoffs?! Yeah, yeah. I know old Mary doesn't have a great shootout record in his career, going only 2-for-18 lifetime. But Olli Jokinen? Seriously? The dude had fifteen goals all year, including a whopping four in New York. I know he was 5-for-10 on the shootout this season alone, but he was colder than the ice under his feet when you sent him out there to take that shot.

Listen, Torts (can I call you Torts?), when your entire season is on the line, you go with your best players. The shootout is such a small-sample stat, you can't go by the numbers. Here you had a superstar, who's won you about a million games by himself this year, and who REALLY wanted to make the playoffs. Don't you think maybe he would have stepped it up and found a way to beat Brian Freakin' Boucher when it really counted? You owed it to him to give him the chance. You owed it to Lundqvist, who stood on his head all game to wedge open the playoff door for your team.

Now, I know you're sitting there on your boat, with your imported beer in one hand and a nice Cuban in the other, wondering why some dumb Habs fan is bothering you about a regrettable decision made weeks ago. Well, sorry to throw an anchor into your summer cruise, John, but I have to tell you this is all your fault. The Habs' playoff situation, I mean. I'm mad at you because if you'd used Gaborik and he'd actually scored, it could have been you in the playoffs instead of Philly. Just thinking about how close those orange-and-black turds were to golfing is enough to make a grown Habs fan cry. But no. Here they are, banging their way into the Conference Finals and lighting up Jaro Halak, all because of you and Olli Jokinen.

Sure, maybe Gaborik would have been stopped too, but we'll never know if your forty-two-goal scorer might have saved your season now, will we?

I'm hoping the Habs can come back tonight and beat the Flyers in Game Two. Maybe, if they make it to the Cup Finals, I can forgive you, John. But if they don't; if my big-hearted team's magical playoff run ends at the hands of those Philly arseholes, it's on you. There will be wrath. You might not care about that, but I just wanted you to know how your idiot decision has far-reaching and troublesome consequences for the innocent fans of other teams. I hope you can live with yourself. Or can't. Whatever.




Anonymous said...

I have to say I really like the Philly's lineup.
I find it, on paper, a little scary.....
You should watch out JT, "La tarte" is probably reading your blog on a daily basis....

moeman said...

The Fonz was afraid to jump the Sharks.

punkster said...

Another gem J.T.

Anonymous said...


One thing though...

If the Rangers enters the playoff, the Habs are seventh (because of ti-breaker) so that means we face... gulp... Marty "F..." Brodeur and the Devils in first round!

If you really want to write a letter, write it to Claude Julien.


J.T. said...

@anon: I have great faith the Habs would have buried the Devils, if only because Marty's old and habitually collapses in the playoffs these days. Writing to Julien while he's still on suicide watch would be too cruel.

Unknown said...

"There will be wrath." You made me spit coffee all over my monitor! LMAO Thank you, JT! Excellent letter. Hopefully the Hockey Gods make sure Torts actually sees it.

Anonymous said...

Erm ... that post's a bit of a reach. The Bruins just completed one of the greatest collapses in hockey history, and it's the Rangers' fault we're playing Philadelphia?

Anonymous said...

Looks like we'll require another humiliating loss before we'll see O'Byrne. Also Laperriere is skating so things are not looking good.

Pete said...

Brilliant. Simply - brilliant.