More John Tortorella:
Said that “throughout the year, I made a ton of mistakes. … in-game decisions, lineups, it encompasses everything. The decisions I make, I don’t take back.” … he later said one of those mistakes, as an example, was when he put Anisimov on line with Callahan and Dubinsky early in the year, and the kid felt too much pressure.
Also said later that Anisimov cannot play on the fourth line next year, because he’s too good and because offense will be expected of him.
“You’ve got to be careful here. When you lose, you don’t just blow everyting up and cause more problems for yourself. I have a number of things that I think we need to fix here. I think people (in the organization) are going to ask me about a number of other things to fix that I’m going to fight because I just don’t think they need to be fixed. I think you can cause more problems for yourself when you don’t get in and you say, ‘We’ve got to change this, we’ve got to change that.’ Sometimes it’s just execution.”
Really dislikes talking about line combinations. “I don’t regress from that at all. When you’re having problems scoring goals and its just not working, as a coach, I’m going to try and find a way in my little world, of trying to get a combination (that works). That’s something I don’t come back off of. … if I didn’t change lines, things must be going pretty well.”
“I think I made a mistake in our last game by staying with our lines, because I was a coach in hope. I kept the Christensen line together; they were brutal. I kept the Jokinen line together; they were brutal. Dru and that line … I had defensemen play (well), I had a goaltender play our his ass, and a line played 16-17 minutes in Anisimov’s line. You’re not going to win. I look back at that and say I should have changed the lines, but I kept on hoping and hoping; hoping Erik would make a play or Gabby would make a big play.”
“I know it’s run wild out here that I’m just some sort of idiot that changes lines all the time, but I don’t agree.”
“Even before we went on a little run here, I still felt there were a lot of good things going on. I just look at it differently as far as … I just look at some of the development that was going on with the team and the core, and I liked what was going on. … I can’t just do it on the score of the game. I can’t just do it on winning and losing. Winning and losing is going to cost me my job. but it’s not going to change my thinking. I think a team is in development here. We may have expectations of being that team and winning it right now. I don’t think we’re ready to win right now, or get where want to be right now.
“So you better be careful of how you approach that process of going through it or you’ll spin into oblivion. … I’m hoping there’s a process that when you start winning, you’re going to win for a while. And that takes a process. And I think we’re in that process. I’m not sure if everybody agrees with me in the organization But that’s the way I feel about it.”
“I’ve talked to Glen about this. I’d like to see us get younger. I’d like to see us add to our core and grow together. And then we’re not adding 10 pieces this year. I think that’s important. I think Henrik’s at an important time of his career; I think we’ve got Gaborik who’s a legitimate star—I don’t like the way he has played in big games; I think he still needs to cross the line there and play better in big games. But we’ve got some pieces here. I think Rozsival has grown his game to be more competitive. So there’s some good things with the core. But I think we need to add to it with some youth, and grow it together.
“Then when you get there—and I may not even be here—to get to where you’re not fighting (for) 9 or 8 every year, you can be a legitimate good team for a while.”
”(It was) a lot easier in Tampa. In Tampa we were a young team that hadn’t won. It’s not an Original Six team. It’s not in New York City. The expectations weren’t as high, and so you’re allowed to grow, and we did. Did we know in Tampa we were going to win a Stanley Cup in ‘04? Not a (firetrucking) chance. No chance. It just came together. But I think the greatest thing I take out of that was watching the process, the trip through. Not winning the Stanley Cup, but just the whole process.
“Do I think that can be done here? Yes I do. I think New York can handle that, myself, if it’s the right character people, if it’s a hard-working hockey club, and you live with some of the bumps as you go through there. I think New York can handle that. I do.”
Said he hasn’t discussed his own job … and took exception to the simple question.
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