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48° Good Afternoon

Marian Gaborik, Josh Bailey and the art of the call-out

John Tortorella called out Gaborik after the Rangers' 20-minute effort in a 5-3 loss to the Lightning here in Tampa.

Jack Capuano -- with Garth Snow's blessing, to be sure -- called out Josh Bailey by sending the 20-year-old to Bridgeport indefinitely before the Isles went to 14 games without a win last night.

Do these moves ever really work?

In Gaborik's case, it seems so. Tortorella has never shied away from challenging his top players; in this case, he did it by comparing Gaborik unfavorably to one of Tortorella's old stars in Tampa, Marty St. Louis, who "runs that power play as good as anyone in the league."

The Lightning had three PPGs on the Rangers; the Rangers power play 4-for-28 since Gaborik returned to the lineup eight games ago. Gaborik also responded when challenged by Tortorella last season and does not seem the sort to drift mentally after the coach has shaken him awake; he's played for two pretty tough taskmasters in Jacques Lemaire and Tortorella.

As for Bailey and the Isles, they were certainly stunned by the move, given that Bailey is a stand-up and popular guy in his locker room. He's still very young, though, and 13 straight without a point -- the length of the winless streak before last night -- is not acceptable.

John Tavares stepped up his game last night, even if it wasn't enough; a few of the veterans seemed to respond too. The only person who doesn't necessarily get to shake this off is Bailey, who has to be the example by virtue of service time (he was one NHL game short of needing waivers to be sent down) and popularity.

The Isles may have shaken things up, but have they shaken up Bailey too much?


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