Tortorella reached his expiration date

Rangers team president and general manager Glen Sather didn't provide much in answering why coach John Tortorella was dismissed. But really, he didn't have to.

All you needed to know was there for all to see.

It was apparent in the team's weary performance for much of the season, shackled by a style of play that hindered creativity and seemed ill-suited for its skilled personnel.

It showed on his players' faces as they sat, stunned and dejected, in the moments after their season-ending 3-1 loss in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Boston Bruins last weekend.

And it was lurking in the subtext of what was said during the team's break-up day on Monday as the players struggled to evaluate a season that fell painfully short of expectations.

Even goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, as affable and media-savvy as they come, couldn't sugarcoat the truth or find a silver lining.

He called the team's performance a "step back," and he was right.

Sather was vague on details, specifics and future plans, but he did say this when reflecting on what he called a "decision that wasn't made lightly:"

"Every coach has a shelf life."

And we have just witnessed the end of John Tortorella's.

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