Rangers head coach John Tortorella is a man of his word.
He promised to shake up an underachieving team and he made those alterations prior to last night’s game against the Islanders, as Brian Boyle was scratched.
“To be miserable,” Tortorella said when he was asked what he wanted Boyle to take out of the scratching. “And hope that he never puts me in this type of decision again. Brian knows how we play. He’s not going to pick up anything watching [the] game. He’s not playing.
“He will get another opportunity to play. I hope I don’t have to be involved in this type of decision again with him.”
Tortorella intimated there were other players he was considering scratching but Boyle’s lack of production—one assist and a minus-three rating in nine games—was among the determining factors.
“Sure. There [were] a couple top guys but they have a little bit of a bank account. [Marian Gaborik has] five goals and Brian has squat,” Tortorella said. “The other guys are going to be held accountable as we try to get our team to understand that this just isn’t good enough.”
Isles’ ‘power’ outage
The Rangers aren’t the only team experiencing a power outage on the power play.
An 0-for-14 slide on the man advantage in the last two games—not coincidentally both losses—has dropped the Islanders to ninth overall in the league with 23.7 percent success rate on the power play.
Before the 3-0 loss to the Devils at the Coliseum on Super Bowl Sunday, the Islanders led the NHL with a 37.5 percent success rate on the power play. The Islanders went 0-for-7 on the power play in that game and repeated the feat in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Penguins at the Coliseum.
“It’s a crucial part,” Jack Capuano said. “If you look around the league, every night goaltending and special teams is a big part of it. There [are] going to be breakdowns 5-on-5 but teams that do well on the penalty kill and get the key goals at the key times. The New Jersey game we had so many power plays in the first period. I’m not going to harp on the power play. It started off real well for us, and [now] get back to basic hockey.
“We just couldn’t capitalize on the power play in those games.”
Along with Boyle, defensemen Dan Girardi and Stu Bickel was scratched. The Islanders scratched center Casey Cizikas and defensemen Matt Carkner and Lubomir Visnovsky. … Capuano hopes Visnovsky and C Josh Bailey Visnovsky will practice with the team today. Bailey had been suspended due to an injury suffered in Europe during the lockout while Visnovsky had been suspended for not reporting to the team following a trade from Anaheim. Visnovsky reported to the team Thursday and passed his physical. “Hopefully in the next couple days we’ll make some decisions on those guys for sure,” Capuano said.
Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.