Getting set for the Leaves vs. the Rangers (gramatically correct “Leaves”). Same lineup as last night except Lundqvist.
Had a chance to ask Tortorella what has surprised him so far this season.
“I wouldn’t say surprised,” he said. “You have to be happy with how the kids are playing. We have a fairly young team. You look at our lineup and it’s a team that’s been made over from last year a bit, and there’s some youth in there. I guess we’re happy (that) they’re not tentative. … and worried about playing in the National Hockey League at such a young age, and trying to make a difference. That’s what I’m happy with the (whole) club right now, is they’re trying to make a difference and trying to set the tempo. That’s what we’d like to remain consistent at.
“We’re still trying to create an identity. I think we’ve all discussed what we want to be. It’s a matter of doing it … and we still haven’t crossed that ‘consistent’ bridge yet. … Right now they’re finding their way and trying to do that.
“They have done a pretty good job here. It’s how they react when maybe something piles up on them as you go along in a long year here, when they may start struggling and they go into a dip. It’s how are they going to react in those situations, and that’s where we have to try to help them as a coaching staff.”
Somebody followed up and asked about the importance of developing young players in the salary-cap era.
“I think it’s important, you have to develop your own,” he said. “In a cap world, you need to dip into your minor-league system and develop people there. A big core of our team is really that. We have the Staals, teh Girardis, the Callahans, the Dubinskys. They’ve kind o fgone through it, and then you keep adding some youth and live with some of the bumps, then make decisions? Do they sgay here or do they go back down? Like Grachev is down there; we’re trying to get him some minutes there, and I think he’ll be a member of this club before the year’s over. So it’s a constant adding to the development of your team.”
So now I’ve pretty much let you read my column for tomorrow’s paper before I even write it.
One more Tortorella remark on the four-game winning streak:
“We can’t get ahead of ourselves, because as quickly as you start winning and getting a momentum swing there, if you’re not taking care of yourself and doing the right things as a team, you can go for a dip and it’s tough to get out of that.”