John Tortorella

Tortorella: Rangers ‘almost paralyzed’ on power play


The New York Rangers haven’t been blown out in their games against the Washington Capitals, but the fact is they’re still heading home down 2-0 in their first-round series. At this point, one of the most blatant areas of concern for the Rangers moving forward is their special teams.

Through two games they’ve only killed 71.4% of their penalties and have failed to score a power-play goal despite seven opportunities.

“We’re just too stagnant,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said in his very brief postgame press conference. “We’re almost paralyzed.”

This isn’t a problem that’s unique to this series for the Rangers. They had a 15.7% success rate with the man advantage in the regular season, which put them in the bottom third of the league in that regard. The Rangers were a middle of the road team when it came to killing penalties, although they were among the best in the league when it came to staying out of the sin bin in the first place.

Overall, the Rangers have scored only one goal in this series and squandered goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s performance this afternoon.

Lundqvist finished the game disappointed, but still optimistic about the Rangers’ chances.

“We can beat this team. There’s no question. We’re right there,” he said, according to the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti.

In other news, if you want to see Tortorella’s complete press conference, you can do so below. Don’t worry, it won’t take too much of your time:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.