John Tortorella thought there might be some confusion on the way he wants the Rangers to play, when he heard one of his unnamed players say on TV that it was run-and-gun.
“This isn’t run-and-gun,” he said. “This is pressure defense, pressuring the puck, defense first with support, allowing us to be aggressive. It’s not run-and-gun. These are the things we have to curb and make our team understand, because we gave up too many odd-man rushes. Some was due to that. Some was due to us just blowing up with the puck, losing the puck.
“It’s not run-and-gun. There is some defensive responsibility, and you have to play defense in this league if you’re going to win.”
On playing a 19-year-old defenseman, Mike Del Zotto: “Patience. Patience. It’s a very important thing. Michael’s going to be a very good player. We’re going to have some bumps with him, but he’s going to be a very good player.”
Tortorella said that Sean Avery will not play tonight, and that Henrik Lundqvist will be in goal again. No lineup changes because there are no other healthy bodies around. Nothing new on trying to find a seventh defenseman.
The opening-night ceremony, which starts shortly after 7 p.m., should be relatively quick, with the puck drop scheduled for about 7:15 p.m (including time for two John Amirante anthems). Got a couple of tips: I don’t think the whole lineup is going to be introduced. Coldplay’s Viva La Vida will be playing when they hit the ice, or during a video presentation. Blue Man Group is going to be involved, live, somehow.
If there aren’t two players wearing the “A” tonight, then I’m going to go ahead and assume the second alternate captain will be Avery when he returns.
Don’t know if I mentioned this earlier in the week, the Nov. 14 game at Ottawa has been changed from a 7 p.m. start to 2 p.m., on MSG Network. In case you’re making that easy trip to Kanata, Ont.