New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella was relatively verbose after his team’s 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils, detailing the “struggle” the Blueshirts dealt with and also hammering common bullet points such as puck possession. Overall, he seemed to follow the Bill Parcells formula of being optimistic after a loss and harder on his team following a victory.
“I thought we gained some traction as the game went on,” Tortorella said. “I’m very optimistic. I still think some guys are close to getting their games. I don’t think all of us are there. But as I’ve said all year long with this club, when you get in these situations … they always find a way to find a good game. So I’m truly confident we’ll answer it the proper way when we play our next one.”
There’s a growing sense that the Rangers simply play better hockey when things are more urgent. They stepped their games up while coming back from a 3-2 deficit against the Ottawa Senators and played terribly in Game 6 against the Washington Capitals before shutting them down in Game 7.
New York has been effective in back-against-the wall situations, which means they’ll be tough to kill off but must face the threat (or at least incessant questions) about fatigue. Either way, Torts’ positivity hasn’t been misguided so far.