Let’s try this again: Tortorella post-practice


Had some serious technical difficulties at the Rangers facility. Everybody else in the pressroom — dozens of people — could access RR, but I couldn’t … which is always helpful.

So, now back at blog HQ, the Tortorella and player quotes from practice will be coming shortly.


John Tortorella (who was at first not interested in answering questions, and I think he takes special displeasure with newcomers):

“They practiced well today.”

On feeling like a rebirth after not being sure if they would be still playing when they left MSG Saturday:

“I don’t know. You;ll have to ask them. I think they deserve to be in. I think the hockey Gods, they don’t screw around with you very often, and I thought what happened was supposed to happen. So we’re just fortunate to have a chance to still be playing.”

On his promise to not watch Tampa Bay-Carolina:

“I watched every minute of it, my son and I, at his practice facility. So I lied to you.”

On expectations of this team for this round:

“Our expectation is to practice well tomorrow and get ready to play our first game. I’m not going to get into expectations or prejections or anything like that. We’re just going to take it, as we’ve done all year long, just try and take each and every day and just play the way we need to play. I guess that’s my expectation is, hopefully we’ll be consistent in playing the way we need to play.”

On whether the series vs. the Caps two years ago comes into play:

“No. No. This is a different team. We’re playing against the same team; they have different personnel. I’ve been asked a lot this year, comparing this year’s team to last year’s team. This is a whole different animal, this club here. This is a good hockey club. It’s a tight hockey club. It’s a hockey club that we really like. So we’re just going to go about our business and try to find a way.”

On the success during the regular season vs. the Caps:

“I don’t pay too much attention to it. I think you go through the ebs and flows of a season. Teams are up and down. This is, they call it the second season. That’s what it is. Both teams will be ready to play and we’re just concentrating on how we’re going to play. We’re not looking back at all. We’re just looking to push ahead here and try to play the right way.”

On playing down the stretch:

“We’ve been in playoffs. That’s what we consider it. We’ve been in playoffs. I think it’s been a great experience for the youth of our club. We were 11-4-1 our last 16. The games that we did lose, we really had to show some resiliency and bounce back because we had to play a totally different game from where we struggled in some games. It just wasn’t us. So I think some of the experiences we’ve gone through there will help us because we consider this is the next round of the playoffs for us because we’ve been at it, being chased, which is a whole different situation when you’re being chased for as long as we had been, handling that type of pressure. Now we get into the real stuff.”

On having played the Capitals without Staal, without Girardi, and McDonagh and Sauer stepped up:

“Well, Ryan and Sauer have played well against a lot of teams. We’re not going to get too deep in our thinking as far as looking to grab ahold of  that to help us here. We’re a confident group. Our mindset is right. Our attitude is right. I just think that we shouldn’t feel it at all. We should go play. We deserve to be here. We’re going to relax and try to play the right way and see where we go.”

Asked what he means by “the right way”:

“You haven’t been here all year long, and I’m not going to explain it. It’s the way we need to play. It’s the way we need to play.”

How does he know the mindset’s right?

“Just from being around them — today, after the game (Saturday) and talking to some guys, going into the situation against Jersey. That’s what’s been so enjoyable for me this year with this team. That I think they think right, if that’s the proper way of putting it. I’ve been with them long enough to know what they are and, through the whole year, and through some of the ups and downs, I think they’ve been really good mentally. So I rely on that, and also how they approached themselves today, and talkng to a few of them after the Carolina game. It’s my gut. It’s my gut.”

On having Lundqvist on his side:

“Yeah, he’s a big part. Of all playoff teams, your goaltender is a key guy. And we have a real good one there. The thing I like about Hank is he’s tasting it. He wants to get back in it. He’s excited. He’s a key man. Goaltending, the position’s a ket position and he’ll be ready to play, I know that.”

On having Drury back:

“Just what happened the other night against Jersey, I hope that gives Dru some confidence. It certainly helped our club. He’s been through some of this stuff before. I think he’ll have a settling influence. But he’ll also add some fire to us, too. You need good people. Forget about playing. The people need to be good before you step on the ice and he’s a good person, and I think that’s really important for our team.”

On this being a chance for Gaborik to make something of this year:

“For a lot of players. A lot of players that feel they struggled a little bit, or even played well, I just think you wipe the slate clean here and you get at this stuff here. This isn’t an 82-game grind. It’s af fun time of year. It’s a whole different mindset that you bring into it. And, I hope Gabby realizes that, that the slate’s clean, let’s go to work.”

On, to use his words from other times during the season, the innocence and ignorance of the young players:

“I was fortunate enough to be involved with a team (Tampa Bay, in 2004) that, we didn’t have a clue what we were doing. And, so I hope we’re a real stupid team as far as all that’s concerned. And I really don’t think we should feel the pressure. I think we’ve gone through some situations, especially the past couple of weeks, that has been, it’s the pressure. There’s a lot of tightness involved with it, in trying to get in. I think we’ve learned our lessons. I think we’ve handled the situations well. I think we just go in relaxed. And we’ll compete. I know the juices are going to be there. But there shouldn’t be any added pressure on this club. We should just go out and try and play our game.”

On the team going out and watching the Tampa-Carolina game together:

“That’s a camaraderie. I don’t think it should have been played out that way. I think it should have been decided after we beat Jersey, but it wasn’t, so you try to look at that stuff, and that adds to you. As you start this type of hockey, that’s really good stuff, all of them getting together and that camaraderie is very important this time of year.”

On whether Avery will have an important role:

“I’m not sure. It depends on what we do with the lineup. I mean, you can ask me about all people. I’m not sure what roles a lot of people are going to have as we put our lines together. I still don’t know what the lineup’s going to be, so we’ll see what happens.”

On not having to worry about putting guys into the lineup because they excel at shootouts, as he did Saturday:

“The shootout sucks. We’re not thinking about the shootout … Oh, you’re talking about the decisions I made for the last game?”

Yes, that these decisions will be based purely on hockey:

“Yes, and that’s what it should be. I’m sorry. That’s what it should be, is based on what you think your best people are, not worrying about the skills competition.”

On whether he did contact anybody in Tampa before Saturday night’s game:

“None of your business. Because if I tell you, it would be tampering. I didn’t. But if I told you I did, it would be tampering, OK?”

It should be noted, Tortorella enjoys having one question he doesn’t care for to end his press conferences, and the regular joke about being the “closers” … the ones who ask the question that will end the press conference. Tortorella was laughing when he finished answering that last question, because of that. And then he looked for Steve Zipay, whom he often jokes about as being the closer. So Zipay asked him if Lundqvist was going to start Wednesday. And Tortorella cracked up as he left the room.”

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  1. I got Carped twice today. Once by Doodie, once by Carp. WTB?

    Again, from previous thread: Is everyone here a byfuglien lawyer?

  2. ilb-

    YES – we already established that everyone has/is

    a. Jewish
    b. A Heart Surgery Survivor

    now we can add:

    c. Lawyer

  3. Ha- welcome back, CTB….And LMAO @ Irish…..

    No heart surgery for me either, and I’m not a lawyer….Although, I’m in court more than some of the lawyers- 4-5 times a year.


    I’m so glad to “see” you all. Back from the honeymoon on Saturday, just in time to see the two games that solidified the playoff berth!


  5. Yea my list was a joke !

    CT – My last name actually is an Irish last name and a Jewish last name. I lived in Dublin right near a statue of a guy that shared my surname.

  6. Carp, please tell me the guy who asked the question:what he means by “the right way”, was the idiot on WNBC TV (Not Bruce Beck). All that jerk does is make stupid jokes. Saturday on the 6pm broadcast he didn’t mention the Rangers at all. But plenty of jokes. I never thought I’d miss Len Berman.

  7. Noah-allahan-iron, 28 on

    Great stuff from Torts. I love how he wants the team to be “stupid” so to speak.

  8. Tortorella sounds like the perfect coach for this bunch. A good man leading a group of good young men!

  9. I don’t know what the rest of you think of this, but I have wondered about Ovechkin for quite some time now. You recall that he burst into this league like a sudden summer squall, and literally took over the shot making aspect of this game like was not seen even in Gretsky’s tenure. Not so much because of his scoring, which for a time was not only barely stoppable, but so dynamic in nature.

    The next season he was still a powerhouse, but he didn’t quite rank up there as a force of nature, but as a really deadly shooter still…and still struck fear into all opponents. Crosby was somewhat ( but not entirely) in his shadow still, but the dynamism had slipped a bit. Now this is what, his 4th season? He’s still a great shooter and scorer, but he is reachable now, and though he must be watched closely…there are others to be concerned about also. A goal is a goal, no matter who scores it, and admittedly some are really spectacular to watch, but most are routine entry shots. Or lucky shots. I guess what I’m trying to impart is that Rangers should approach him as they would any top of the line scoring ace, but not focus so intently on him that they let the lesser ( but dangerous) lights ruin their parade. If you know what I mean.

    So let’s hope that Rangers come out flying and bring some sudden heat to the Caps and plant a few hard hits on the way..leaving no one behind to do them damage, and take no prisoners. Total war.

    No pussy footing around, no cute set ups. just hard smash mouth hockey played from their goal line out to the opponent’s crease.

    What was it that Norman Schwartzkopf said “”shock and awe?
    And I do mean that they should best inhabit that crease if they want to win this thing.

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