Rangers’ Tortorella: ‘Maybe scared was the wrong word’

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John Tortorella backed off comments he made about members of the New York Rangers playing “scared” following Tuesday’s loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Or did he?

“I’ll tell you about our hockey club right now,” Tortorella, the Rangers head coach, told the New York Post following Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat against the Devils. “…we have some guys that are really playing hard, and we have some guys that look scared to me, and tentative.”

On Wednesday, he tried to clarify his remarks.

“We’re a four-and-five hockey club, and I don’t want to turn this into a criticizing of the players when we lose,” Tortorella told the New York Daily News. “That’s not what I’m trying to do. . . . Maybe scared was the wrong word, or maybe it was the right word. You can say it 10 different ways.

“That’s what I mean by being tentative and scared and all that. Try to make a difference. Don’t look to someone else, and don’t give your problems to someone else.”

The Rangers have won three of their last six games and are still trying to get themselves within the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference. They are, despite their struggles, one point behind the eighth-place New York Islanders.
The two teams meet Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

Dreading the work week? Watch this dog get ‘ice time’ with puck

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Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.

Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.

Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.

Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.

Patrik Laine’s out sick for Jets on Sunday

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Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.

It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.

The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.

NHL schedules hearing for Micheal Haley’s sucker-punch on Calle Jarnkrok

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The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.

The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.

Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.

“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.

In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.

WATCH LIVE: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

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Yes, the Philadelphia Flyers’ playoff hopes are basically squashed, but Sunday should provide plenty of motivation: giving the Pittsburgh Penguins grief.

The two rivals will face off on NBCSN tonight with the Penguins hoping to improve their situation in the three-team Metropolitan race for the division crown (and, failing that, at least one round of home-ice advantage).

The Penguins must fight injuries and a cross-state rival. There should be plenty of talent on the ice, too, so this should be a fun one.

You can watch on NBCSN, online and via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.