Rangers’ Tortorella: ‘Maybe scared was the wrong word’

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John Tortorella backed off comments he made about members of the New York Rangers playing “scared” following Tuesday’s loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Or did he?

“I’ll tell you about our hockey club right now,” Tortorella, the Rangers head coach, told the New York Post following Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat against the Devils. “…we have some guys that are really playing hard, and we have some guys that look scared to me, and tentative.”

On Wednesday, he tried to clarify his remarks.

“We’re a four-and-five hockey club, and I don’t want to turn this into a criticizing of the players when we lose,” Tortorella told the New York Daily News. “That’s not what I’m trying to do. . . . Maybe scared was the wrong word, or maybe it was the right word. You can say it 10 different ways.

“That’s what I mean by being tentative and scared and all that. Try to make a difference. Don’t look to someone else, and don’t give your problems to someone else.”

The Rangers have won three of their last six games and are still trying to get themselves within the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference. They are, despite their struggles, one point behind the eighth-place New York Islanders.
The two teams meet Thursday at Madison Square Garden.