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Tortorella post-game

Posted By On January 25, 2011 @ 11:41 pm In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 25 Comments

John Tortorella:

“We did a lot of good things. Fluky goals and we weren’t able to overcome it. I thought we were, even when we were down 4-3. I still thought we were going to come back, but we weren’t able to get it done tonight. As I said, I like the team. They just keep on playing and they play hard. We struggled in certain minutes of the game, but they just kept on fighting back.”

“We had a great start. We had a really good start, then they score a piece-of-crap of a goal off of, I think it hit Artie’s stick. But that’s the way it works. Hey, we’ve scored a few of those along the way. Again, as I always say, approach your team the next day — which will be in five or six days — on how they’re playing. I still liked a lot of things that went on in tonight’s game.”

He was asked, How do you approach a long layoff?

“How do I approach a long layoff? That’s just a dumb question.”

On Boyle and Stepan’s scoring:

“Our way of succeeding is everybody’s chipped in. I don’t think Brian was dead-on tonight, but he made some big plays at key times, and Step scores another one. Everybody contributes and that’s what, I think, brings our team close together. There’s no one guy that carries us. I think everybody feels good about that.

“You have to (expect scoring from those guys now). And they do, too. They need to accept the responsibility. When they see that they get to a level of play at a pretty consistent manner, they have to continue to stay there and also get better. I think that’s what happened with a number of our young guys, and Brian’s leading the way as he continues to try to get better. That’s what I like about the club. The foundation continues to mature, continues to try to get better. They’ve got the right attitude as far as trying to get better each and every night.”

On Del Zotto:

“Michael played well. Michael played well. I know there was one play there in the third period, I think he was a little nervous where there was a quick 2-on-1 around the net, you could tell he was a little nervous (Tortorella smiled). But I like the way he’s handled himself off the ice and he has stayed within himself on the ice. There were some mistakes, but everybody makes mistakes. He’s going through the process and I think it’s good for him, and eventually he’ll get it the right way.”

On the five going to Connecticut:

“They have two games to play before they break, so we want them to go and play, and this isn’t a negative thing on any of them. I just met with them, and for me it’s been rewarding to see them play through the situation we’ve gone through with injuries and to me it just enhances, as far as some of the things that we have there, that I think will improve and eventually help this club. And that could be maybe long-term for some guys, maybe shorter term for other guys.”

On Zuccarello (three assists):

“Yeah, he made some really good plays tonight as far as passing, some plays that I don’t think some guys could see. He’s really concentrating on the other part of the game, the defensive part of the game, and we can talk about his shootouts and he has brought a lot to the club. And he continues to improve. Again, the thing I love about him, he thinks he belongs here. He knows he’s a good player and that’s a pretty refreshing thing to see in a guy coming from another country, coming over. It’s refreshing to see that.”

“There’s so many things we have to look at, I don’t want to get too far ahead. He’s not going down with those other guys to play. He’s played a lot of hockey for us, so right now he’s earned the break here. And then we’ll make our decisions as we see who’s healthy when we get back.” 

I asked him about the five games in seven nights, which could have been a breaking point:

“Yeah, yeah. You get greedy. You need to get greedy. You wanted to win (tonight). I thought we were going to squeeze out a point tonight. I thought we played well enough to squeeze out a point. But, then maybe tomorrow I’ll sit down and say, ‘You know what? We won some games there, maybe, that we didn’t deserve.’ It all evens out. But it would have been nice to go 4-1 instead of 3-2, but in my mind coming in here, I just wanted us not to give and we didn’t give. We talked about that between the second and third periods, that some teams may say, ‘You know what? We won two road games, it’s not going our way tonight,’ and you just give in a little bit. The thing I loved about our club, we didn’t, and hopefully that keeps resonating within our group and I think that will take us where we want to be, I’m hoping.”

He had the scoring chances 15-9 in Rangers favor, despite the shot totals (35-17 overall, 11-1 in the third):

“I thought the first half of the game, Vokoun was seeing too many pucks. I thought we got better as the game went on. I thought we defended well. There were some fluky goals. The second one’s a kick in the … a kick in the teeth. That’s a tough one there. That changed the momentum. Then we grab it back and they scored a couple of fluky ones. You’ve got to eat it, and we’ll get ready to start up again when we start practice (Jan. 31).”

On whether it’s a good time for a break, even though the team is playing well:

“For our team? Yeah. We’re beat up. The guys that are playing are beat up. They’re beat up for the right reason. They should feel good about themselves. We always talk about that. If you play the right way, and you may not be able to practice the next day, you need some time off, you need to feel good about that because you’re playing the right way. I think for the first 52 games here, we’re pretty much there, as far as trying to play the right way. We’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way and had some ups and downs. But I think the mindset, in how we have to play, has been there pretty consistently.”

“As a coach, your’re always looking … this was one we all wanted to win. And we crawled back into it and I thought we had an opportunity to not only get a point, but also win it. I’m a little frustrated now about that, but I feel good about our club, especially with what we’ve gone through here, in really being decimated with injuries. I go back, I got a chance to see kids play, where I wouldn’t have had a chance to see, and I’ve seen them produce. So that’s really good for our organization, not only short-term but also long-term.”

Asked about the message he will leave with the team during or after the break:

“The message has already been sent. The message has already been sent. I think after the Carolina game, where we got sloppy defensively, I think we got our message, our point across right after that game about how we have to play, and that’s defending first, and everything comes off of that. And I think we’ve done a pretty good job of it since that Carolina game.”

On the last five games, if a goal had been set:

“No. I just wanted us, as I said, not to whine about injuries or use it as an excuse, but to try to go the other way with it, and I saw our team do that. And we win three out of the five. So, we’ll take those points and try to build off of that as we start up in a few days here.”

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