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Nobody’s looking for their cookies on the Rangers, says Mike Rupp

Feb 9, 2012, 11:15 AM EDT

Rangers salute Getty Images

Larry Brooks wrote an extremely complimentary column today in the New York Post that argued the all-for-one-and-one-for-all Rangers could “own” the city in the spring. (Presumably Brooksie doesn’t like the Knicks’ chances.)

Look, this is not a powerhouse team. This is not a group glittering with stars like the one featuring Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Mike Richter and Adam Graves that put an end to the 54-year Stanley Cup drought by looking history in the eye until it blinked.

But it is a team that is greater than the sum of its parts operating in a sport that rewards fabric more than any other. There are talents who do get their name above the title on the marquee, specifically Henrik Lundqvist and Marian Gaborik, and that is required of teams that go all the way, but more than the commitment to grind on every shift, to block every shot and to finish and play through every check, there is the commitment to one another.

Brooks also quoted Rangers forward Mike Rupp about the players’ dedication to each other.

“There’s an across-the-board level of sacrifice needed for success in this game,” said Rupp. “I’ve been on teams where you have 15 guys who sacrifice every night but there are also five guys floating looking for their cookies, and that doesn’t work.”

Added captain Ryan Callahan: “It’s one guy taking a hit for the next guy to the point where it’s pretty hard not to do it and then feel good about yourself.”

Question for the comments section: If the Rangers finish first overall, would you vote for John Tortorella as coach of the year? It’s pretty clear he’s got his players to buy in, and that’s a big part of coaching. At the moment I’d give the nod to Barry Trotz in Nashville since he’s got less to work with on paper, but Torts is right up there.

  1. rainyday56 - Feb 9, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Torts should win simply for finally ridding the league of Avery.

  2. sknut - Feb 9, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    I would say no just because they did sign Richards and have King Henrik and Gabroik. I would say Trotz and then Hitchcock, then Torts. (Not sure if a coach that started after the season started won coach of the year or got votes even, but its impressive what St. Louis has done)

  3. whatswellydoing - Feb 9, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    I would say the Blues go even further with the team concept. They don’t have a Richards, Gaborik, or a Lundqvist and their only player at the ASG was their backup goalie who washed out of Ottawa. (no offense Sens fans)

    If the Rangers finish first, I’d say Torts deserves it, but won’t get it. The Adams never goes to first place coaches. Hitchcock will get it as long as the Blues stay near the top.

  4. greggoldberg - Feb 9, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Yeah, I’m in the it’s Hitchcock’s to lose camp.

  5. napoleonblownapart6887 - Feb 9, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    What everyone else said, its gotta be Hitchcock unless the Blues fade.

    On an unrelated note (and I mean no disrespect to the NYR or their fans), but Larry Brooks is a sensationalist moron.

  6. hanktheking - Feb 9, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Give the trophy to Hitch, or Trotz, or anyone else…we want a different trophy in NY

  7. gaborik104life - Feb 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    I’ve watched every rangers game this season and while you are right in that we do have King Henrik, Gaborik and Richards if you look the only one having a great year is King Henrik. No player is averaging more than a point a game. Richards has less points than Callahan and is on point for .666 points per game less than stellar. Gaborik is on pace for 68 points yet again good not great.

    As for Trotz having less to work with on paper your basing that off names alone. Rinne is a great goalie. As for stats the preds have 7 players with 30 or more pts Rangers have 4. If you actually watch games you see what it takes for them to pull out two points. And there have been very few games that were won off of the skill of the players. It was either the goalies great play or hard work dedication and sacrifice that no other team in the Nhl has and I say that with great confidence because I have seen every other team.

    Well the blues are a great argument the Rangers are tied for second in the league with Vancouver with 2 games in hand and three points back of the first place red wings with 4 games in hand.

    The rangers have bounced back from losses with a mindset of never letting them get the best of them. Tortorella is the reason for this. It is not Gaborik that is playing the boards on his own and crashing the net. It is Tortorella motivating Gaborik. When a Ranger blocks a shot it’s not for the fun of it it’s because Torts taught them that to raise the cup with this team they need to block the shot.

    The Rangers are also 28th in the league in PP, and 5th in Penalty kill. There penalty kill has been great for the past couple of seasons and while there powerplay has been a disaster fact remains the past two games have seen the players move more, take more shots, and work harder which is the ingredients to having a good pp. So if they increase there powerplay whose to say they aren’t the best team in the league run by the best coach.

  8. bcisleman - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Have to admit–and, as an Islander fan, it pains me–the NYR ARE a legit Cup contender. There are holes though. They have a mediocre offense and a very poor PP. If they cannot fix those issues at the deadline, they may be headed to an early exit from the playoffs.

  9. hsnepts - Feb 9, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Anyone see Sean Avery on Project Runway the other night?

    It’s a reality show about fashion designers, and they had Avery as a guest judge. No kidding.

    He way rockin some pink sunglasses. Indoors.

  10. omahamad - Feb 10, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    I think John Tortorella should be coach of the year. I’ve been a Ranger fan for decades now, and have never witnessed (since Emile Francis) a coach that can drive the team the way Torts does game after game. Realize the “stars” of the team are not really carrying the team so far. It’s been the usually unheralded players who keep pushing forward that has made the difference this season.

    Hitchcock is amazing, but our Torts has been able to handle the whole range of experience this Ranger team is made of.

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