John Tortorella

Tortorella has “tremendous amount of confidence” in Rangers


New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella admitted that Game 5 was a “tough one” for his team to lose to the New Jersey Devils. He was fairly positive about his team’s chances of bouncing back from that 5-3 loss and 3-2 series deficit, though.

“We’ve been through it before,” Tortorella said. “It’s a hard one to lose the way we lost tonight, crawling back into it, but we’ll go through our day tomorrow. We’ll regroup. And, again, I have a tremendous amount of confidence in how we’ll react to this.”

Perpetuating that confidence and positivity, Torts was emphatic about the Rangers being able to take some good things out of that tough defeat.

“Sure, you spend some time when you’re struggling in the game and learn from your mistakes,” Tortorella said. “You can also spend some time with some of the good things you’ve done to get ready for our next game.”

So far, the Rangers have shown the ability to roll with playoff punches. They came back from a 3-2 deficit against Ottawa, bounced back from an awful Game 6 against Washington advance thanks to a great Game 7 output and now must win two games in a row against New Jersey.

Tortorella seems positive that this team can grind out yet another series.

After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.

Greene named 11th captain in Devils history

Dion Phaneuf; Andy Greene
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Andy Greene has been named Bryce Salvador’s successor as New Jersey’s team captain.

Greene, an undrafted free agent that’s spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils organization, becomes the 11th captain in the franchise’s history and third American to wear the “C” (Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were the others).

A former standout at Miami of Ohio, Greene — who served as an alternate captain in each of the last two seasons — has developed into a steady, durable blueliner that hasn’t missed a game in three years. He’s also locked into the Devils long term, having signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the club last summer.

That deal kicks in this season, and runs through 2020.

As for the rest of the leadership group, four players will serve as alternate captains this season: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique.

Elias and Zajac both wore an “A” in New Jersey last year, while Cammalleri and Henrique are first-timers.