This will come in waves, too.
By the way, Happy Anniversary. April 13, 1940, when the Rangers won the Stanley Cup, is now 70 years ago. So it’s 1 for 70. Going on 71.
I’m not going to transcribe three hours of player interviews, so I’ll try to stick with the highlights. There aren’t many.
“Obviously everyone’s disappointed. Our goal was to get in the playoffs, and once you’re in anything can happen. Along the way I think we figured out a lot of things as a team, but we fell a little short at the end.”
“We were very inconsistent. We’d win a couple and lose a couple. Sometimes we’d lose playing well, then you’d throw in an 8-1 in there or something like that. We kind of figured out that playing the right way, especially with Hank in net, gives you a chance every night. It just took us a while to figure out how to play the right way consistently.”
“Playing for Torts, you’ve got to be ready for a lot of different things every single day. Even right down to the end I don’t think anything was completely set in stone, and you just have to be ready to adjust and whatever he asked you to do … You’re certainly on your toes. For me, I don’t think it’s any different than if it was set in stone. You’ve got to be on your toes every day, you’ve got to be professional about whatever you do or you’re asked to do.”
“Whatever role I was asked to do, or whatever job I was asked to do on a given day, I just tried to do it the best I could. You always want to do more, no matter who you are, what you are, and I’m no different.”
“It’s going to be awful, and I have no plans on watching (the playoffs). It’s not a good feeling.”
“It’s really frustrating. I kind of found my game towards the end and I was feeling I was contributing a little more, then to get hurt in Toronto right in the stretch is certainly something I wasn’t happy about.”
“I think I had some good games, I think I had some bad games, and I think I had some just OK games. And I think the OK games were probably more than the other two, so I’m certainly not ecstatic about my year. I’m more disappointed. I think the consistency wasn’t there. I think the other part of it was just trying to find my game and trying to get comfortable with what was asked of me.”
About toe-ing the line:
“Probably too much, if anything. I think that’s what took a while to kind of just find out where I needed to be and how I needed to play. It’s disappointing it didn’t happen sooner. I guess the only good thing is that it did happen and I did figure it out at the end so it’s something I can sit with over the summer.”
“Coming into the season it was kind of a question mark. There was a lot of thought on how I was supposed to play and how I needed to play, and I probably over-thought it a little too much and I needed to just go out and play the way that I’m supposed to play. It’s disappointing that it didn’t come sooner, for sure.”
“I think (this) is a situation we haven’t been in since I’ve been here. It certainly puts the importance on the early games in the season, to know how focused you have to be whether it’s Game 20 or Game 82. One point makes all the difference, I think the guys are all going to live with that and realize how important that is.”
“As well as we played the last three weeks or the last month of the year, if we were able to play like that in the middle of the year we’re probably not here doing interviews right now. When they say every game’s important … you realize there were points that we gave away during the season that would have helped us out at the end. Just one point somewhere.”
“I was very happy that the New York Rangers took a chance on me, because when I lost my job with the Lightning I didn’t know what was going to happen. So I was very fortunate to find a job with some other team and very glad it ended up being a New York Ranger. I hope I’ll be back.
“The interest on my end, there is, for sure. I don’t like to change places in the first place, and we have kids and everything and they need some stability—they can’t just change schools every year. Hopefully there’s going to be interest on the New York Rangers’ part, too. That’s all I can give you right now. They’re going to have to do some talking and see how it’s going to play out.”
“It was the same (playing for Tortorella again). That’s the way he is. That’s the only way he knows how to coach and to talk to the players. He was the same as he was in Tampa.”
“You always want to prove people wrong and the best way to do it is on the ice. The Lightning made their decision. I was surprised. It was late in the summer … Hopefully the play showed that it was a bad decision on the Lightning’s part. I get to be paid (by Tampa Bay) until I’m 40. That’s a good thing for me (laughs).”
Knee needs rest and rehab. Can’t play in World Championships.
MORE TO FOLLOW …