John Tortorella

Tortorella says Devils are bending rules, DeBoer calls accusations “comical”

47 Comments

The passive-aggressive war of words Rangers coach John Tortorella and Devils coach Peter DeBoer are having is pretty fantastic.

We saw these two snipe at each other late in the season after their final regular season game saw numerous fights in the opening seconds. DeBoer called Tortorella a hypocrite over the line brawl while Tortorella told DeBoer to go stuff it. The playoffs are proving to be no different.

During his meet-up with the media this morning, Tortorella deflected talk of Brandon Prust’s nasty elbow to the head of Anton Volchenkov to talk up the different things the Devils are doing that are against the rules.

“Prust has played probably 300-plus games without any hearing, anything going on with him. He’s probably one of the most honest players,” Tortorella said. “I look at Zubrus’ elbow to Stralman. I look at Parise launching himself at Del Zotto. Maybe if our players stayed down on the ice, we’ll get something.

“We tell our players don’t stay down on the ice. Get up. I hope – I’ll leave it at that. Picking on the power play, set plays, picking on the power play. If we want to start discussing officials with the media, I have a long list here. That’s a set play by Jersey. Picking so we can’t get to Kovalchuk to block a shot.”

If you’re counting at home that’s two hits called out and a not-so veiled insinuation that the Devils are embellishing as well as interfering to get their way.

As for Peter DeBoer, he was asked about Tortorella’s comments after this morning’s practice and did his best Tortorella impression when addressing it saying the accusations were, “Comical.”

It might be time to rent a barn for these two and have it out. The handshake line at the end of this series should be nice and frosty.

Tortorella looking ahead to Game 3: “it simply comes down to a little bit of will and a mindset”

Callahan hit
3 Comments

Seriously, does this guy ever stop talking? Rangers coach John Tortorella was rambling away again in today’s conference call with reporters. Key quotes are below.

On the positives he saw from his team during last night’s 3-2 loss to New Jersey:

“To be honest with you, not many. I thought we played some minutes in the second period, found a way to score some power-play goals. But other than that, we didn’t play enough minutes.”

If sitting certain players during games is meant to send a message (Note: the reporter never specifically referenced Marian Gaborik, but given Gaborik barely played the third period, it’s pretty clear what this was about):

“Some guys when you just don’t think it’s working, they don’t see the ice or they don’t get the minutes. So those are decisions that we make every game. You guys like calling them benchings and all that stuff, but as coaches we’re trying to find a way to win a hockey game, and we make decisions accordingly.”

On what the Rangers need to do Saturday in Game 3:

“I think there are some corrections in our game we have to make, but I also think at this time of the year I know everybody likes talking about adjustments. But it simply comes down to a little bit of will and a mindset.”

On how his team can score more goals:

“I think we’re looking to get more consistent offensively, at least with our forecheck to develop some offense going into these two games here in the series.”

On limiting distractions as the playoffs progress and more attention is paid to the team:

“We’re concerned about our locker room. We’re trying to close that down and just take care of business ourselves there. We really don’t spend too much time worrying about what you guys are speaking about, and that’s certainly not trying to be disrespectful, but we certainly don’t. We have a lot of things that we have in our room that we have to fix, that we have to deal with, and really block out all the other stuff.”

Poll: Do the Rangers look tired to you?

Tortorella on playoffs: “This is where your legacy is made”

John Tortorella
8 Comments

John Tortorella is a big reason why this New York Rangers team has (seemingly) overachieved more often than not under his watch. Still, his fondest coaching memories likely came during his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning, when he helped them win a Stanley Cup. Torts reflected on the effect big playoff wins can have, as he told ESPN’s Katie Strang.

“This is where your legacy is made, the playoffs,” Tortorella said.

Tortorella is notorious for … frosty press conferences, so his post-Game 7 spiel was relatively verbose. He shared his philosophy on home ice advantage (it’s “garbage” until Game 7 rolls around) and praised his team’s efforts in the third period, calling it one of their best.

Most Rangers players tempered their enthusiasm with the inevitable “we’re not done yet” caveat, but it’s pretty clear from the locker room and press conference commentaries that the Rangers are happy with their efforts.

One could argue that they’ll need a more consistent output in the Eastern Conference finals, however, as they’ll face their division rivals the New Jersey Devils, who are hotter and more talented than their No. 6 seed would suggest.

(They also have quite the legacy of their own.)

Tortorella on Caps Game 5: “It’s a kick in the gut when you lose because it happens so quickly.”

John Tortorella
18 Comments

We’ve had fun with John Tortorella for being so brief with the media throughout the playoffs. After last night’s incredible Game 5 comeback against Washington that saw the Rangers win 3-2 in overtime, the usually curt Tortorella offered up a little bit of insight.

CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley gets Tortorella’s thoughts on what it does to a team to win and lose in the way things played out last night.

“It’s a kick in the gut when you lose because it happens so quickly. And it’s pretty exciting when you win because it happens so quick.”

The Caps are saying all the right things about how guys like Braden Holtby will handle losing in such a gut-wrenching way. The Capitals have handled losing overtime games just fine in these playoffs as they’re 3-0 in the game following an OT loss. Losing might be a kick in the gut, but it seems to be forgotten just as fast as it arrives in D.C.

Tortorella explains decision to bench Bickel for most of 3OT win

Ottawa Senators v New York Rangers - Game Seven
8 Comments

It took the New York Rangers 114:41 minutes of playing time to win on Wednesday. Of that, Stu Bickel was on the ice for just 3:24 minutes. His absence from the defensive rotation led to Marc Staal logging 49:34 minutes and Ryan McDonagh playing a game-high 53:17 minutes.

So why did the New York Rangers decide to go that route? Well, Bickel’s last shift came in the second period and after a while, the Rangers were worried that he had gotten cold.

“We get in a situation when you ice Bick, and you just know this is going to go on for a while,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said. “It’s an awful tough situation to stick Bick into after he’s sitting for a while. So we just made the decision to stick with the five.”

Bickel has played in all 10 playoff games so far, but he hasn’t recorded more than 9:18 minutes in a contest since the Rangers began their postseason run.