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:

Vatrano presence: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime

Frank Vatrano David Krejci
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The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.

In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).

Here’s his first goal of the night:

While this is his overtime game-winner:

It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.

The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.

October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.

November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.

Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.

More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.