Yesterday when we heard about John Tortorella talking about praying for offensive success it kind of made sense given how much of a hard time his Rangers have had putting the puck in the net. When in doubt seek a higher source, right?
Turns out Tortorella is just a regular Louis C.K. on the side. During this morning’s meeting with the press, Tortorella was asked about his confidence in his offensive players to score goals and decided to make sure we were all in on the jokes.
“I have total confidence in our players. Again, this isn’t a new experience for us as we go into tonight’s game. So I have total confidence,” Tortorella said.
“I know I used that word ‘pray’ yesterday. It was a joke. There are a lot more important things to pray about than a win or a goal. So can I clear that up, please?”
The comment got a laugh out of reporters, but things have been so bad offensively for the Rangers that some might’ve taken him at his word about asking for divine intervention. With Martin Brodeur in goal and the Devils pressuring with an intense forecheck it might take an act of god to bring a plague of goals.
The rise of Chris Kreider’s star power in the playoffs has been something else to see. He’s breaking obscure records and giving the Rangers a speedy scorer they never thought they could count on in the postseason.
With this kind of NHL baptism of fire, Rangers coach John Tortorella is happy to get the kind of production he’s getting out of him but he tells Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants he’s not trying to give him too much to think about either.
“There’s enough things going through his head where we just want him to play. He’s had some breakdowns away from the puck. Those are things we’ve tried to teach a little bit but not too much. But this is instinctive. He’s an instinctive player. We’re just trying to let him go.”
For a control freak like Tortorella it’s got to drive him crazy just having a guy play on instinct and natural talent alone, right? Well…
“Maybe if he’s more seasoned, he’s coached, we might screw him up,” Tortorella said. “I don’t know how to look at it. Right now he’s doing some good things for us and we’re going to leave him the hell alone.”
It’s a fascinating thing to watch because Kreider has had moments where he’s made rookie mistakes but Tortorella has helped nurture him the way he has with other players. For a rookie, Kreider’s become one of the guys pretty fast.
New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella has been described as “fiery,” but his press conferences would best be characterized as “frosty” lately. They’ve also been sometimes ludicrously short, so NBC Sports Talk tabbed Jason Brough and Mike Halford for a quick take on what – if anything – the NHL should do about it.
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