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.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
A smattering of quotes, anecdotes and opinions in the wake of John Tortorella’s latest presser (which clocked in under one minute).
— Steve Serby of The Post has a great piece about “The Last Angry Man.”
— Michael McCarthy of USA Today breaks down who’s ripping Torts for his surly non-interviews.
David Shoalts, Globe and Mail:
“Dealing with jerks is part of the job. We can complain that someone like Tortorella is not being accountable to the fans when he pulls his condescending prima donna routine but we can’t ignore him. There are times when he comes out with far more candid observations about his players and opponents than other coaches ever do when the mood strikes him and we would not be doing our jobs if we too were acting like divas and weren’t around to record them.
“Besides, one of the privileges of the media is always getting the last word.”
Steve Politi, The Star-Ledger:
“Get to your seats early, folks, because this one-man act is a short performance. Here is the entire transcript of the Rangers coach’s news conference, all 36 words Coach Gruntorella uttered after the Devils outhustled and outworked his team on its home ice: A number of things. I’ll keep it in the room. No. No. I answered your first question. No. You need to improve as a hockey team every game. I’m going to keep it in the room.
“Trust me. You don’t need the questions. Tortorella got a few YouTube laughs with his routine at news conferences early in the playoffs, but now the reviews are all about the same.
“The act is tired, and especially so on a night when it isn’t unreasonable for the fans to expect some answers. You can say he doesn’t owe the media a thing, but the paying customers can’t ask the question themselves. And it’s a fair one: Why was your team so flat for most of this game?”
Katie Strang, ESPN NY:
“Tortorella also declined to elaborate on the effort, the necessary adjustments and virtually every other question in a particularly curt postgame news conference.
“Instead, Tortorella said he’d rather “keep it in the room,” which is exactly where the media now will direct their questions given his unwillingness to answer them.
“Maybe that’s the desired effect, but for a coach who seems to loathe distractions, he sure is creating one.”
Rangers coach John Tortorella provided another one of his infamous press conferences following Game 2. You can take a look at it below:
At this point, I can only assume he’s being asked questions as a matter of course. His answers lately haven’t exactly been informative.
Still, I think he might be able to get through these press conferences even quicker. I feel like I’m trying to give Wayne Gretzky tips on how to score goals by even bringing this up, but it did take him about six seconds to settle into his seat. Surely he can shave a second or two off of that.
The Rangers’ schedule in the playoffs has been a busy one. They’ve gone to seven games in each of their first two series and had just a day off before facing off with the Devils in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals last night. Just hearing about that is enough to make a regular person lose their breath, but the Rangers won’t be standing for any talk about being tired.
“I don’t know where you guys get all this stuff being tired. If we’re tired this time of the year, there’s something the matter,” Tortorella said. “We still have a month to play. You might as well not even ask me questions about being tired. We’re not a tired hockey club. We are ready to play.”
Note to self: Don’t ask the coach about being tired. We’ve heard this often from Tortorella and other players as well.
The Rangers might not be tired, but they’re on point about marching to the beat of the same drummer. There’s plenty of time to be tired when the season is over after all.
When last we saw the Rangers and Devils facing off, there were fights three seconds into the game and head coaches John Tortorella and Peter DeBoer were busy sniping at each other through the press. Now that they’re facing off in the Eastern Conference finals, Tortorella’s tune has changed just a bit.
Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News hears it from the Rangers coach about how he hopes his team has put all that stuff behind them and isn’t getting caught up in the hype.
“I’m not too interested in and I hope the team isn’t too interested in getting caught up in all the sideshows as far as Jersey-New York Rangers,” said Tortorella, who critiqued the “crappy setup” of his press conference on Sunday and labeled NHL hockey “a game of Ping-Pong” since the red line was removed before wrapping up after 10 minutes.
“I think it’s great for the area don’t get me wrong,” Tortorella said of the Battle of the Hudson between the Rangers and Devils, “but we have to concentrate on who we are and what we have to do.”
No word yet if Tortorella got those pesky neighbor kids off his lawn or not.
It’s amusing to see Tortorella get focused for the start of the series (Game 1 is tonight at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN) after the way the regular season ended between these two teams. If he’s banking on the talk to be minimized though, he’s going to be sorely disappointed/angrier about things.