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Pre-game stuff

Posted By Carp On February 1, 2011 @ 4:48 pm In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 98 Comments

Hi kids. I didn’t make it down to MSG tonight for a variety of reasons, so I’ll be in the chair watching our good friends at Versus and, despite that, trying to watch the game with youse tonight. Maybe listening to the great Kenny Albert and Dave Maloney.

Anyway, I never got around to posting the entire Tortorella post-practice thing yesterday, so here it is, minus the old news.

John Tortorella:

On having 15 forwards and seven D-men at practice yesterday:

“Too many bodies for practice. But, no, it’s good to get the guys on the ice … obviously when you have that many bodies, they’re getting close.”

On the competition the healthy guys bring:

“Once we find out who’s healthy and who isn’t, we have to cut down our numbers to get a proper practice in. And we have a few days this month that we can practice with only 12 games. But, no, for the past—really for most of the year—we’re just trying to field a team out there to get a full practice in. So this is the other end of the spectrum, after some time off, some guys have healed and some guys, the timing of their injuries, coming back, it’s good stuff. And I think we’ll be a better team for it once we get some guys back in the lineup.”

On Del Zotto:

“He played well enough the past couple of games. Did some decent things as far as puck movement on our power play. We’ve got to make a decision there. He was brought up also because we weren’t sure about Danny (Girardi).”

He said Kolarik had dipped, and before sending Grachev down today, this was his assessment:

“Grach has played much better. It hasn’t transformed here yet, but he has been one of the better … Schoeny was (at the Whale’s games) and felt Grach was the guy. Him and Newbury. I like Newbury’s grit. Hopefully he can take a faceoff or two. But Grach has scored some goals down there, has played hard, is going through the process. Now, the next step for Grach is to protect pucks here as we’ve asked him to down there, but also to try to create some offense. Weise played well, too.”

On Dubinsky:

“If it was up to him he’s play, but it’s not going to be his decision. We’ve got to check with the doctor and see how he feels (today). … It’s just dealing with pain. Is there going to be pain. The doctors have said we don’t need another X-ray or anything like that. They feel it’s healed. It’s just a matter of Dubi … remember, this was going on with Dubi for quite a while prior to (the discovery of the stress fracture). But Dubi was knocking on my door after the Florida game and knocking on my door before (yesterday’s) practice. He wants to play. But it just can’t be his decision. We can’t put him in a situation where he could get hurt again. So we’ll see how he feels … and we’ll make a decision.”

 On Wolski learning the grind:

“I’m hoping the whole team rubs off on him, because that’s the way we have to play. And he has bought in. He’s trying to grind. He’s trying to win puck battles on the boards, both ends, defensively and offensively. He’s been around the puck and he’s been told that’s what he’s going to have to do. I’ve had so many opinions on him thrown my way when we traded for him. I haven’t seen some of the things people talked about, so we have to make our own judgment and he knows how he needs to play here. And he’s trying to do that.

“We don’t want to turn him into an absolute grinder. He’s a talented player. But he has to do the job away from the puck and puck battles are a part of that.”

Asked to clarify what he said about not seeing the things people talked about:

“That’s a positive. People weren’t running him down, but you get traded a couple of times in a very short while, people are saying, ‘Well, what’s this guy all about?’ I didn’t want to listen to … obviously we have to get information and I have a couple of people over in the Western Conference that I trust very closely, and I called them. And they gave me information on him. So you have to find information. But you never know when it clicks in. He’s 24. He’s still a kid. And you never know when it clicks in. I like the way he’s played. I like his effort, which is the most important thing, away from the puck. And he’s been around it offensively, too, in creating offense. So we’ll see where it all goes.”


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