Post-practice interviews


Hey, folks. I’m in for Carp.

Just a few quick updates from today’s skate at the Garden:

• Much of the discussion with John Tortorella, Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi focused on the team’s willingness to block shots. It toyed with the Devils in Game 1 and has obviously been a key part of the Rangers’ defensive philosophy under Tortorella.

Girardi said he never really blocked shots until he joined Hartford. His AHL coach there, Jim Schoenfeld, emphasized it. The defenseman has come to focus even more on the unenvious task the last few seasons under Tortorella.

• Talk also centered around the combination of McDonagh and Girardi, who have formed an ideal top defensive pair. No one knew if it would work. Now? “I’m not sure I’ll ever split them up,” Tortorella said.

You can listen to plenty on those topics in the audio files below. Also, find out what led to Tortorella saying, “This isn’t golf.”

• The coach said the last two series was unrelated with this one, but both Ryan Callahan and McDonagh expressed a desire to play better in Game 2 tomorrow night. As you know, the Rangers lost Game 2 against Ottawa and Washington after posting solid wins in Game 1.

Derek Stepan said he hurt his right foot blocking a shot late in the first period. He hobbled to the bench but never missed a shift. The big toe on his right foot was taped up today.

On the broadcast last night, Tortorella was seen yelling at Stepan on the bench prior to the blocked shot. I asked if there was any connection. “He thought I needed a spark,” Stepan said.

• Tortorella said his team’s defense played the same way during the 2004 Cup run in Tampa. Ruslan Fedotenko conceded there was truth to that, but said, “If you don’t adapt, you’ll be gone.”

So…clearly, not quite the same.

• Perhaps my favorite quote of the day came from Chris Kreider. Does he still live out of a suitcase? Yes. “But it’s a pretty big suitcase,” he said.

John Tortorella:

[audio: torts.MP3]

Ryan McDonagh:

[audio: mcd.MP3]

Dan Girardi:

[audio: girardi.MP3]

Ryan Callahan:

[audio: callahan.MP3]

Derek Stepan:

[audio: stepan.MP3]

Chris Kreider:

[audio: kreider.MP3]

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  1. *Lloyd Braun* May 15th, 2012 at 3:39 pm


    The last few Devils-Rangers playoff games I’ve attended were embarrassingly pro-Ranger crowds. Roughly my entire section were wearing Ranger jersey and the cheering for Ranger goals dwarfed anything the Devils did. I can understand them wanting to save face, I just don’t see it working.

    *Manny* May 15th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    They could save face by admitting bankruptcy and moving the team to Quebec where people will root for it. They don’t get fans even when they are winning. If winning doesn’t work, nothing will.

  2. Lloyd Braun on

    let them stay there. I like going into another team’s arena and feeling like you’re on home ice. plus the tickets are a lot cheaper.

  3. Guys, do we really even need to discuss that? Doesn’t the fact that they’ve implemented such a program say enough about how pathetic they are? Mickey Mouse Organization.

  4. According to the Devils website, via Puck Daddy, the Devils have started an initiative called “No Blue” and are intending to protect home ice by having Devils fans fill up the arena and stop Ranger fans from going to Newark.

    They list three ways to protect home ice, including “If you own seats and have to sell for any of the home games because of conflicts, do NOT list your seats on the secondary market. Blogs such as Fire and Ice, In Lou We Trust, and HFBoards provide you with outlets to speak directly with other Devils fans who are looking for seats. This will ensure you are selling ONLY to other Devils fans. You can ask for pictures or meet them to deliver tickets, to ensure where their loyalty lies.


    so now we know that if Ranger fans are not as numerous as expected, it is because of DEbbie chicanery

  5. LA and Phoenix are even further than Sweden – maybe the games should be played on Neutral ice in Europe to save us all from jet lag…naaahhhhh, just Messiering with you

  6. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    When I clicked the link to the “NO BLUE” campaign page it’s already crashed … hahaa. LGR Nation! Lets Go Boneheads!!


  7. leetchhalloffame on

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha – fat chance no Rangers fans show up at the “Rock.” Deal with it Debs fans. We run this area of the hockey world.

  8. Exactly Boog. Emrick calling Brodeur’s play embarrassing is something a fan of the devils would say, like when we all comment on Henriks inability to handle the puck. But u cant argue with a child, their brains arent fully developed yet.

  9. Hey anybody catch when Keith Jones said, right before the game, that Henrik and Farty-Marty were, “very similar style of goaltenders” ? He then said that “while Farty-Marty might handle the puck a bit better, Lundqvist is not afraid to play the puck.”

    What the heck kind of analysis is this? Similar style? In that they play two extremely opposite styles of goaltending?

  10. Rob in Beantown on

    They have a similar style in that they both wear pads, a helmet, and sometimes play the puck with their stick.

  11. Feel the need to commend the league (I’m lightning quick to criticize) on calling the delay-of-game penalty on Volchenko for diving on the puck. There were a few times in the Cap series when that very move resulted in a whistle ala pre-lockout days- obviously the league got hold of the officials and dealt with the situation . I’m guessing all four remaining teams were warned before these series started-

  12. leetchhalloffame on

    Know it’s a bit early but hope Rangers brass has their drafting sight set on Stefan Matteau’s son Stefan, Jr. – a 6’2″ highly rated and skilled center that is predicted to be drafted at end of first/beginning of 2nd round. How great would that be?

  13. Don’t know if anyone touched on it, but I’ve seen multiple Devils fans crying about Stepan “interfere” with Brodeur on the 1st goal. I watched the replay on that several times, and all I have to say is that Devils fans will grasp at anything to make an excuse, what a bunch of tools.

  14. Johnny"embarrassed to believe"boy on

    Got my game 3 tickets today for my son and a ’88 chevy Nova, I’ll be puttin the colors for a nice time at MSG II.

  15. That poor kid could NEVER live that down. Tim Erixon’s legacy would be a cakewalk in comparison…

  16. boxcareddiehospodar on

    Somehow Tortorella better figure out how to get bickle and strahlmann more ice time.

    staal,delzotto,mcdonagh,girardi are going to be dead before the stanley cup finals.

  17. Box, they should’ve been dead by now according to experts. Unless McD has a twin brother, he looked pretty fresh while catching up all the way from the opposite zone with Parise and Kovalchuk. Neither of them, by the way, is considered slower than John Scott.

  18. I just can’t get over how good – no, how great – The Kreider is … he is an absolute beast.

    Even my mom thinks that, at this stage, he is likely the best hockey player on this planet.

    The perfect player playing for the perfect team.

  19. boxcareddiehospodar on


    let’s see when we go 7 with the devs for a total of 21 games and the kings go 5 with the coyotes for what 13 or 14?

  20. boxcareddiehospodar on


    agree with the number of games played during the year.

    But i would still rather play 14 than 21. especially with the style the rangers play.

  21. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Kings started season playing 35 of the first 65 and then were forced to play the last 17 straight. 52 + 6 + 4 + 1 = one game 3 vs Holtby’s craps.

  22. Was on Devils fan sites today and read the whinning and crying about alleged interference by Stepan. Went back and watched the video a bunch of times.

    There was no interference of any kind.

    They are losers!

  23. Not even I would whine for an interference on that. I wouldve whined for an interference on the Boyle disallowed goal in Game 7 against the Capitals, but that was interference with Holtby by his own player.

  24. bull dog line on

    Kreider is going to be special. cant wait to see him play when he actually has an idea of what he is doing. right now he getting by on skill and instinct.

  25. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    Manny – you are wrong. Marty and the King both try to keep the puck out of the nest, hence the same style….its not how you look, its how you feel, and i feel marvelous…

  26. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    bulldog – agreed…THE KREIDER has so many gifts…

  27. bull dog line on

    last night Hank stole a game. Devs may look back at that game with regret. had a tired team on the ropes and could not put them away.

  28. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    rangers could sweep the devils, and i am being serious….4 and out

  29. bull dog line on

    the Devs learned last night you have to match the Rangers intensity for a full 60 minutes.

  30. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    JR – “Henrik was instantational last night……completely unadismal”

  31. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    JR – “NJ has to match the rangers’ intensification if they want to win”

  32. Matty"IBelieveinMiracles!!"boy on

    If you watch Kreider in person, it’s not his size that is surprising. It’s his speed. He skates around players to grab the puck from them. Players that are pretty good players. I agree that he is raw talent. But a lot of it.

    Shooting on the fly alone is a talent. Shooting on the fly with precision is even better.

    If Torts can keep him feeling good about himself, this kid’s a monster. He could be the best ever. He could even be better than that.

  33. Matty"IBelieveinMiracles!!"boy on

    JR — “The Kreider is probably…no, he is…the best player ever in the NHL”

  34. So, they should deliberately play worse players even at the cost of losing some games, which would require playing more games total, or worse, elimination, just so four guys won’t be AS tired as they might be?

    Makes no sense.

    Anybody checking the ice time for the Kings’ No. 5 and 6 D-men?

  35. leetchhalloffame – Not to split hairs or anything but the younger is “Stefan” and the elder was “Stephane.” But aside from splitting hairs, I agree with you 100 percent. Take a gander at what one scout says about the younger Matteau:

    “When you watch young Stefan Matteau, you can definetely see the influence that his father has had on his son’s game. Like his father, Matteau is a gritty, hard working, winger who is capable in all three zones. Matteau seems to relish playing a physical game, is effective on the boards winning battles, and protecting the puck in the cycle game. He is more likely to bull through a defender than to go around them. Matteau has a hard, heavy wrist shot and a decent release. When Matteau doesn’t have the puck in the offensive zone, you can find him near the opponents crease. He gets to the front of the net and causes havoc when he’s there attempting to screen the goalie, tip in goals, and bang in rebounds. Matteau just loves initiating contact and is a very physical player. He’s also likely to be found right in the middle of any after the whistle scrums. His offensive game is a little limited by his average passing skills and vision, and his average hands making moves in tight to the goal, and around defenders.”

    The guy goes on to say the kid’s skating isn’t that great, which could hurt his chances here. But no doubt, the fact he’s a Matteau has got to be on the mind of Garden executives, who sometimes overlook the quality of a skater for the story he presents(Jessiman and Sanguinetti for instance). Not long ago, he was expected to go in the top 20, maybe even as high as 15. But he was deemed ineligible for international play last month and is going to play for the QMHL, which has seemingly diminished interest. Now he’s not even listed as going in the first.

    If Stefan is available wherever the Rangers draft, he would be a great addition to this team. They need big bodies like him. I also read somewhere else he’s being likened a bit to a more-skilled Tyler Biggs, who is another USNTDP product that a lot of Ranger fans wanted over JT Miller last year. The fact that Stefan is in that program will likely endear him to the Ranger scouts, who seemingly love Team USA products(Stepan, Kreider, Miller, Bourque)

  36. I don’t know anything about Matteau’s kid … except that I know his father pretty well … but is he really a first-round pick?

  37. Just to highlight part of that above scouting report that I really like(and the Rangers seemingly lack): “When Matteau doesn’t have the puck in the offensive zone, you can find him near the opponents crease. He gets to the front of the net and causes havoc when he’s there attempting to screen the goalie, tip in goals, and bang in rebounds.”

    Big body. Crowding the crease. Havoc. I like…

  38. Carp – I don’t know. I’ve never really seen him play outside of clips. He was ranked 13th among North American skaters on, for whatever that’s worth.

  39. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    JR – “the yotes were adismal in game 1, and if they down estimate their, i mean elevate their game, they will be more adismal”

  40. Martinez and Greene played 13 minutes each in the last game. Sort of the same as NYR’s d-men, minus aboot 7 minutes.

    I don’t mind what Torts is doing. Obviously if Sour was healthy, it would be a huge plus.

  41. I think about what having Sauer in the lineup could do to help this team all the time. But alas.

  42. Game 2 win and I don’t see Nj pushing back. That’s why we need it so bad. I not as obsessed as everyone with the D ice time , you have to play the cards you got. However if we go up 2 what do you think about dressing Emminger instead of Rupp and spot Stu n Emminger separately to eat up minutes if the situation calls for it

  43. Good point, Pimp. Hank needs to get to band practice and he has to develop a new mousse to put in his hair.

    Let Biron play! He predicted Girardi’s goal. He’s obviously the real coach.

  44. I had a dream that Biron was in goal and he speared David Clarkson in OT. Devils went on the PP but THE KREIDER scored shorthanded and we won.

  45. The morons in Phoenix have a “white-out” … but the LA uniforms are white.

  46. lets go yotes. make it a series. the whole world is gaga over the kings slow them down.

  47. I was lost during the Phoenix home game, number 1 for the same reason. I said, “I thought the ‘Yotes had Home Ice.” Then I realized the Phoenix fans were just delirious from the 120 degree heat during playoff hockey. Must be the temperature change from outside that gets to their head.

  48. Just watched Steven McDonald’s speech from this year again. “All we ask is that you play like champions, and we will see you in June.”

  49. I just asked Siri, “Who will win the Stanley Cup?” and she said “The New York Rangers”!

  50. High Desert Roberto on

    Avery is taking the no hockey thing pretty hard….

    Kings look good but not unbeatable. People are pooping themselves over this team. They are legit but I think Rangers or NJ could take them out well maybe not NJ

  51. I also think the Kings are beatable by US. The teams are a mirror image and our goalie has a better GAA and more Shutouts. The Blues in effect beat themselves and the Canucks, well, they are a mess in goal.

    Does Avery ever, ever play a game in the NHL again? Why isn’t he training?

  52. JimboWoodside on

    I thought Avery announced his retirement!? Didn’t he say that he was through with hockey?

  53. JimboWoodside on

    ‘Yotes can’t catch a break – Kings are in their heads. Can’t fault Smith for the goal he gave up, and he made some good saves in that period.

  54. JimboWoodside on

    Or the LOGO Channel, Manny….

    I thought he threw in the towel when the Whale told him not to bother coming back after his injury or whatever it was…

  55. I don’t think it was an injury. Wasn’t Sean sent home after being suspended for a Wardrobe injunction?

  56. JimboWoodside on

    106 degrees right now in Glendale, AZ – madness! And people actually live there!

  57. JimboWoodside on

    I don’t remember, Manny – but they told him not to bother coming back, and I think that a few weeks after that, he announced that he was through with hockey.

    Really, I think that’s a shame – he still can skate and be a pest, and occasionally score a goal – he certainly wouldn’t fit in our lineup anymore, but his whole career was “poisoned”by that “sloppy seconds” idiocy – big byfugliening deal, already!

  58. Wicky© You better run mojito!! LGT!!! on

    where was the list fo the whale players the rangers brought up?

  59. Wickster:

    “Joining McIlrath as call-ups from Connecticut is defencemen Tim Erixon, goalie Cam Talbot and forwards Casey Wellman, J.T. Miller and Kris Newbury. None of the call-ups are expected to see any time with the Rangers at this point in the post-season.”

  60. JimboWoodside on

    I guess so, Manny – but the league basically made him “persona non grata” after the “sloppy” incident…all of Canada turned on him.

  61. Watching this Western Conference game.

    You guys really think either of these teams wouldn’t get beaten up and tossed around by either the Devils or the Rangers? I dont know. Phoenix looks totally unimpressive and I dont have the sense its because the Kings are making them look that way but what do I know.

  62. I mean the Yotes have Derek Morris and Michal roszival on their blueline. Those guys were not suitable for our team.

  63. The Coyotes have been not only good but relentless. Mike Smith also has more shutouts than Quick in these playoffs.

    I assume they win at least two here.

  64. Kings have looked dangerous, indeed, but their competition is self-destructing currently and did so in the last two rounds as well.

    It’s ALWAYS Jimbomania!

  65. No way Doan gets suspended. The Kings player saw him coming, turned, and then got hit. Purely bad luck on Doan’s part. Shouldnt even have been tossed.

  66. JimboWoodside on

    Hahaha!! OK, Latona – who am I to argue with such sage observances!?

    Yeah, PHX is blowing themselves up here – this is an embarrassment.

  67. JimboWoodside on

    Our boys will have to keep pace with LA – so we don’t have to play any more games than they do!

  68. We have to match LA win for a win, can’t afford to have LA wait for us to beat the Devils in 7. Because right now it look like PHX is done in 4, they are playing semi-scared for sure.

  69. JimboWoodside on

    The prospective new owner of the Yotes is calling Buttman to cancel the deal as we speak…

  70. JimboWoodside on

    Hahaha!!! Where are the chicks screaming for me at the airport!? Oh, sorry – that was Beatlemania!!

    Goodnight, Latona – you’re a funny guy! ;-D

  71. Kreider beating Marty cleanly should be a hopeful sign of the things to come in game. If we can switch at will from a “dump and chase” game to a “pass and shoot” style, it should confuse Devs sufficiently to give up the next three by freeing up Gabi and Richards to play the way they can.

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