With Rangers struggling, Tortorella is being Tortorella

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New York Rangers coach John Tortorella isn’t in the greatest of moods these days. Which is weird, because he’s normally such a ray of sunshine.

The Rangers are in Vancouver tonight looking for their first win of the 2011-12 campaign. After starting the season with two losses – one in overtime, one in a shootout – over in Europe, Tortorella’s squad flew back to the United States and promptly dropped a decision to the Islanders.

A trip across the continent to Vancouver probably wasn’t what the Rangers needed at the moment, but Torts isn’t willing to use all the travel as an excuse.

Nor is he willing to be nice to reporters who ask about it.

“Don’t even go to the travel, if you ask me a question about the travel I’ll just up and walk away here – it has nothing to do with travel,” Tortorella told the assembled media yesterday in Vancouver. “You’re asking me about travel and you’re going to screw some guys who have a question. Any other questions?”

The next question from reporters probably wasn’t, “Can I have a hug?”

Tortorella wasn’t any nicer to his players yesterday. The Daily News reports he made them do push-ups when defenseman Jeff Woywitka tripped a teammate during practice. (Penalties have been a problem for the Rangers.)

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Of note, New York hasn’t won in Vancouver since Oct. 11, 1997.

What was life like back then? Courtesy Dave Lozo of NHL.com: “the cost of a gallon of gas was about $1.25. It varies from place to place, but the average cost for a gallon of gas today is about $3.60.”

In conclusion, gas is too expensive. They should make it cheaper.