By Jon Gabrielle, NY Rangers correspondent
It may not have been the “timeout” heard round the world…but it certainly had it’s impact on the fifth floor at Madison Square Garden Monday night!
Head coach John Tortorella, with his team already trailing the Blue Jackets, 2-0, called his lone timeout midway through the first period to help incite a 7 goal outburst.
For a team in need of secondary scoring, the timing could not have been better.
The oft-times surly coach has remained positive during this recent stretch that saw the Rangers drop four of their last five games heading into last nights action. About the timeout, Tortorella said, “I just told them to take a deep breath because I didn’t think we were playing that badly…there’s a lot of hockey left.”
His calm demeanor may not have surprised his team, but it certainly caught the Jackets off guard. The Rangers went on to stun Columbus scoring 7 unanswered goals during a span of 21:18.
This isn’t the first time this season that Tortorella has gone to the early timeout to shake things up. Since the inception of the timeout rule no coach has been more aggressive in terms of when he calls it, than the man who stood behind the Lightning bench for the better part of seven years.
It was only the third game of the year for the Blueshirts, at the Prudential Center against the Devils, when they found themselves down 1-0 at the seventy second mark. Apparently Tortorella had seen enough and called timeout only two minutes into the contest. The Rangers went on to score the next goal shortly thereafter and eventually won the game 3-2.
Once again, Tortorella deftly chose his “time” and the Rangers responded as if on cue.
The Blue Jackets. on the other hand, have seen a disturbing trend develop as of late. A Ken Hitchcok coached team is usually known for it’s defensive responsibility, however, less than two weeks ago the Red Wings hung a 9-spot on them and now this outburst.
All the coach could say was, “We had a really good start to the game and we gave them those three goals at the end of the first period which really gave them a lot of life. We had some poor plays by some good people.”
As Vaclav Prospal said afterwards, “It just tells you the scoring is here. We just have to find it on a consistent basis. It cannot be just one game. This basically puts the pressure on us to do it next game.”
And the pressure for head coach John Tortorella to save his timeouts for the next opportunity when his team needs their “buttons” pushed.