Tortorella

PHT Morning Skate: Reactions to firing Tortorella

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Count former NHL all-star Paul Kariya among the long list of people that are supportive of the Colorado Avalanche’s decision to hire Patrick Roy as the team’s head coach. (Denver Post)

19-year-old defenseman James Melindy has inked a three-year, entry-level contract with the Phoenix Coyotes. (Coyotes.nhl.com)

Jesse Spector liked the challenge that came with interviewing recently fired Rangers coach John Tortorella. (Sporting News)

Tortorella might not have been the most popular person, but Nicholas J. Cotsonika says that’s not why he was fired. (Yahoo! Sports)

A recap of the San Jose Sharks-Los Angeles Kings series in picture form. (LA Kings Insder)

Canadiens captain Brian Gionta is continuing his rehab of his torn left bicep. He’s hoping to be ready for training camp after dealing with a torn right bicep last year. “(Canadiens’ orthopedic surgeon Paul Martineau) was telling me this time, ‘Make sure everyone knows it’s your other arm. Make sure they know it wasn’t anything I repaired last year that went wrong,’” Gionta said, laughing. (Montreal Gazette)

A look at three potential amnesty buyout options for the Washington Capitals. (CSN Washington)

Highlights from Chicago’s 2-1 overtime win over Detroit:

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What they’re saying about the Tortorella firing

John Tortorella
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A sampling of reactions to the news that the New York Rangers dismissed head coach John Tortorella on Wednesday:

Michael Grange, Sportsnet:

Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated:

Darren Dreger, TSN:

Matt Sekeres, TEAM 1040 Vancouver Radio:

Kevin Paul Dupont, Boston Globe

Nick Cotsonika, Yahoo!:

Chris Stevenson, Sun Media:

And, finally, what would any Tortorella post be without a reaction from the New York Post’s Larry Brooks?

Related

Taxi! Rangers fire Tortorella

Sean Avery says he told you so about Tortorella

Sean Avery says he told you so about Tortorella

Sean Avery
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You may recall back in March when former Rangers player Sean Avery took to Twitter and called for the firing of New York head coach John Tortorella.

Well, Tortorella was fired today…

Avery, by the way, wasn’t the only player to make his thoughts on Tortorella known via social media. Here’s what injured Bruins forward Marc Savard tweeted after Brad Richards was made a healthy scratch for Game 4 of the New York-Boston series.

Taxi! Rangers fire Tortorella

John Tortorella
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The New York Rangers have fired head coach John Tortorella, according to ESPN’s Katie Strang.

Update: The Rangers have confirmed the dismissal.

Tortorella, 54, had been the head coach in New York since 2008-09, and led the Rangers to three consecutive playoff appearances, including the Eastern Conference finals in 2011-12.

New York’s 2013 season and playoffs were a disappointment to many, though, as the Rangers finished sixth in the East and were bounced in the second round of the playoffs — a five-game loss to Boston during which Tortorella controversially dropped Brad Richards from the final two games of the series.

Many critics have also pointed to Tortorella’s inability to coax offense out of a lineup that features no shortage of high-priced talent up front. New York averaged just 2.2 goals per game in the 2013 playoffs.

Last year, the Rangers scored three or fewer goals in all but one of their 20 postseason games.

According to a source of CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, comments made by Henrik Lundqvist at the end of the season “changed everything” for the Rangers.

What comments, you ask?

Possibly these:

“I think it’s a –- it is a step back. We went to the conference finals last year, we had high expectations for ourselves this year; it didn’t go our way. So yeah, this is a step back, but it’s tough to make it there.

“You can’t just expect it to happen. You have to work really hard, and you have to do a lot of things right, and you have to have a lot of good bounces on the way to make it there.”

Lundqvist was also non-committal about signing an extension with the Rangers beyond his current deal, which expires in 2013-14.

This likely drew concern among the Rangers brass, as the reigning Vezina winner (and nominee this year) has been the team MVP seven years in a row.

Update: Torts’ best sound bites…

 

Tortorella takes blame for top players’ struggles

tortsperturbedgetty
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New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella isn’t particularly prone to call out players.

He refused to do it with Rick Nash. Torts proudly professed his love for Brad Richards. The fiery coach wisely passed on critiquing Henrik Lundqvist.

Instead, it seems like he’s pointing the blame to himself.

After watching his team get bounced in Game 5 on Saturday, Tortorella told reporters such as ESPN’s Katie Strang that it’s his fault that the team’s top producers mostly fell flat. He went on to assess both the series and the Rangers’ disappointing season.

“They deserved to win the series. They were the better team,” Tortorella said. “I thought, this season, we struggled to get our personality, to get our identity.”

That identity part might just fall on Torts, though it remains to be seen if it costs him his job.

In case you’re wondering, Derick Brassard (12 points), Mats Zuccarello (seven points) and Carl Hagelin (six points) were the Rangers’ top playoff scorers while Rick Nash and Brad Richards combined for two goals (though Nash added four assists).