Defenseman Wade Redden and forward Ales Kotalik were targeted in the backlash of the Rangers' embarrassing 2-1 loss to the Islanders on Wednesday and scratched for last night's game at Nassau Coliseum. "It's because of their play. It's never about one game," a terse coach John Tortorella said.
Redden, a healthy scratch for the first time this season, believed he was "singled out . . . I wasn't happy coming in and seeing my name on the scratched list," he said after the morning skate at Nassau Coliseum and a loud, closed-door discussion with Tortorella. "Draw your own conclusions," he said. "We haven't gotten things done . . . Obviously, he wants to shake things up and I'm an example . . . This kind of lays it all on the table, to be sitting out."
Redden (1-5-6 in 28 games) responded "I do" when asked if he believed he had more to give. "All I can do is show them I want to be out there and then, I've got to deliver. I've got to come back and be ready."
Kotalik, who is a team-high minus-15 and hasn't scored a goal in 15 games, spent an extra hour on the ice with assistant coach Mike Sullivan, Redden and third healthy scratch Aaron Voros. "It doesn't matter whether I agree or not," Kotalik said. "When you're not playing well, things can happen. I don't want to say anything. Don't force me to say anything else."
A banner night
Rookie goalie Chad Johnson marveled at the championship banners and the retired numbers at the Coliseum. "I made sure to look at Clark Gillies," said Johnson, 23, who was raised in Calgary. "I wanted to be able to describe it to my dad; he was my dad's favorite player."