Win or especially lose, the question after most New York Rangers playoff games is: what will head coach John Tortorella say? (Or sometimes, “how unpleasantly will he not say something?”)
Following the Rangers’ 2-1 OT loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 5 on Friday, Tortorella took the high road … kind of. He was at least non-specific when asked about Rick Nash’s struggles, according to the Bergen Record’s Andrew Gross.
“I’m not critiquing players,” Tortorella said.
He did critique plays, however, calling Brian Boyle’s slash on Mike Ribeiro a “dumb penalty.”
“It’s a dumb penalty and you don’t kill that off,” Tortorella said. “He’s a guy that’s playing well but it’s a dumb penalty”
Tortorella didn’t want to badmouth Nash and he didn’t want to call Game 6 an elimination game.
“I’m not going to use that word,” Tortorella said. “We’ll go home and try to win a game.”
Whatever you want to call it.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.