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Tortorella wants ‘someone to take over the power play’

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Some people are reading between the lines that New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella would like the team to make a big trade.

ESPN’s Katie Strang passed along this intriguing Torts quote from Thursday:

“I still need someone to take over the power play and run it,” Tortorella said.

Strang then noted that the fiery head coach “didn’t sound convinced” that the right guy was on the Rangers’ roster or in the system. If the rumblings are true, it could end up being a blueliner who worked with Torts during his Stanley Cup-winning run with the Tampa Bay Lightning: Dan Boyle.

The 36-year-old offensive defenseman wouldn’t necessarily be seen as a “rental,” according to Strang.

Boyle is not a rental, either, but a source indicated to ESPNNewYork.com that the Rangers are not opposed to adding a player with years remaining on his contract if he’s a good fit. Boyle, who previously played under coach John Tortorella in Tampa, has one year remaining after this season on a six-year, $40 million deal that comes with an annual cap hit of $6.66 million.

While Boyle’s contract might not represent too steep of an asking price, Strang reports that the Sharks might want too much back in the form of young talent.

We’ll see what happens, but if Strang’s hints and Torts’ quotes are any indication, the Rangers are at least looking to make another splashy move as the trade deadline approaches.

Tortorella debates Kreider recall: ‘We don’t want to keep on knee jerking him back and forth’

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On paper, adding a first-round talent like Chris Kreider to the struggling New York Rangers’ lineup makes perfect sense. Head coach John Tortorella told the Bergen Record that a call-up isn’t so obvious a choice when you ponder the possibility that he could be sent back to the AHL again, though.

“We don’t want to keep on knee jerking him back and forth, we want to make sure if we do (call him up), we feel he’s ready to play,” Tortorella said.

The 21-year-old center played with the Connecticut Whale during the lockout before starting the regular season with the Rangers. Things got bumpy around Feb. 12 as he was sent back and forth due to Rick Nash’s murky injury status; eventually he saw his last bit of NHL action on Feb. 26 against the Winnipeg Jets.

Simply put, Kreider’s numbers haven’t been there yet, with just a goal and an assist in 11 games after showing flashes of brilliance during his well-publicized NHL debut in the 2012 playoffs.

Again, the Rangers can use the boost, but it sounds like Tortorella is going to tread lightly when it comes to the development of prospects such as Kreider.

Tortorella on Sabres loss: ‘That team was ripe to be beaten’

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Earlier this season, New York Rangers coach John Tortorella refused to praise the Montreal Canadiens after they handed his team an ugly loss. On Tuesday, he bashed his team while mocking the Buffalo Sabres (who won 3-1) in virtually the same breath.

The fiery coach seemed especially surly in the press conference following that loss tonight, which you can enjoy in the video below.

Well, at least he (kind of) complimented the Sabres’ third line.

Tortorella says players, fans ‘don’t need to know’ about players’ injuries

John Tortorella
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John Tortorella is notoriously guarded when it comes to disclosing the health of his players.

On Thursday, he explained why.

“A big part of a coach’s responsibility — [whether it’s] injuries and a lot of different things that come along during the season — is to protect the player,” Tortorella said on his ‘Behind the Bench’ show on MSG Network (via ESPN New York).

“This with the media thinking they need to get all the information, I don’t agree with it.”

Tortorella’s disclosure practices came under scrutiny in February when, asked about the status of injured forward Rick Nash, he told a reporter “none of your business.”

That incident was just part of the Great Nash Injury Mystery of 2013.

After missing a practice for what the club called “body maintenance,” Nash was questionable for the next day’s game versus Washington, only to suit up and play a whopping 22:33.

That was followed by him being held out of action for four games — and serving a stint on IR — before rejoining the club.

While all that was going on, Larry Brooks of the New York Post penned a piece suggesting Nash had suffered some type of head injury after taking a big hit from Boston forward Milan Lucicfive days before the Washington game:

The Rangers aren’t saying anything about the condition of Nash, who played two days after taking the unpenalized hit and then again three days after that despite a couple of days that we know of, when he wasn’t feeling well.

No one is saying whether No. 61 is suffering post-concussion symptoms. Perhaps more to the point, no one is saying he isn’t.

The Nash example is a microcosm of how Tortorella and the Rangers treat injuries.

Judging by his words on MSG Network Thursday night, he isn’t going to apologize or change anytime soon.

“I think we need to give [media] what they need — they have a job to do — but they don’t need to know everything that’s going on with your hockey club and players — including the public and the paying customers,” he explained.

“They pay a lot of money, and we’re trying to put on a good show for them, but they do not need to know everything about what’s going on with our club.”

Tortorella on Staal’s eye injury: ‘It’s scary’

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Specifics are scarce so far on Marc Staal’s condition after taking a puck to/near his eye on Tuesday.

New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella seems like he’s in the same boat as everyone else.

“It’s scary,” Tortorella said.

Fellow defenseman Ryan McDonagh agreed with Tortorella that it was scary, noting to Blueshirts United’s Jim Cerny that “you could tell how much pain he was in immediately.”

There’s no word yet on whether Staal, 26, will go to the hospital for treatment and evaluation. We’ll provide a more substantial update once they become available.

The Rangers won tonight’s game 4-2 against the Philadelphia Flyers.