Read: Gordie Clark on the Rangers style of play and why it needed to change

TortorellaGordie Clark said that all the shot blocking the Rangers were doing under John Tortorella was the result of playing in their end too much. (Boston Herald)

He said “the guy who created this game created hockey to have the puck and be creative with it and make plays, not to chase it around.” Clark added, that is where they wanted to change. He said that Glen Sather went in search of a coach who would play like that and Alain Vigneault was that guy. (Boston Herald)

Clark said in the series against Boston in 2013 the Rangers played played too much in their own end and it wasn’t how Sather wanted or expected them to play so he made a change. (Boston Herald)

  • In the 2013 playoffs the Rangers Corsi was 46.8%. In the regular season it was 50.9%. (ES)

He added that a few years ago the Rangers decided they wanted to be more of a skilled and speed team. (Boston Herald)

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Read: How and when James Dolan and John Tortorella still talk

John Tortorella5:21PM: On Mike Francesa, Dolan said “I am pretty good friends with Torts and we got along really well and had a fun time when he was here but Glen is the one who knows and he had good reasons for what he was doing. The only thing that I asked him to do was to treat Torts as fairly and kindly as possible because we considered him a friend and I think he tried really hard. I miss him. I missed him all season and I miss him today. I love Alain and we have a good relationship but I miss Torts”

3:57PM: James Dolan said that he still keeps in touch with former Rangers coach John Tortorella and the two text from time to time.(NY Post)

Dolan said that the two are still friends that Tortorella will text him if he hears one of Dolan’s songs, from his band JD and the Straight Shot, on the radio. (NY Post)

Dolan said that he didn’t try to talk Glen Sather out of firing John Tortorella and just wanted to make sure that Torts was treated fairly.

For more on Tortorella and Dolan, click HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Read: The Canucks GM doesn’t like the style John Tortorella is playing

4/4/14: 3PM: Tortorella says that the Canucks were playing one way at the start of the season, got banged up and went conservative. He made a mistake in not trying to get back to playing an aggressive quick enough.

He said that he is willing to discuss his style of play with reporters, because he doesn’t think they understand what he is trying to do, after the season.

He thinks that the style of play the team had at the start of the season is the kind of style that Mike Gillis wants to play.

He doesn’t think he is overplaying his top players and disputed that he once had Brad Richards and Marty St. Louis at 24 minutes. The reporter cited as his source for the stats and Torts said something sarcastic about the site. IN 2007-08, St. Louis and Richards were 1-2 in ice time.

4/3/14: 12:42PM:  Canucks GM Mike Gillis was on Team 1040 radio this morning and spoke about John Tortorella and his style of play:

  • “John is a proven winner and competitor…..the running of this team is my responsibility and I feel that the last few seasons we have been chasing goal posts that have been moving and got away from our core principles of how I want this team to play and how we want to perform and the tempo we want to play with. People want someone to blame but the reality is that as an organization we have deviated from things that have been successful and I know will be successful. We will get back to those levels and that style of play that we started six years ago and we have the personnel to do it.”
  • Do you expect Tortorella back next season, “I don’t know if I will be back next season.”
  • On the style of play, “when you have an entire team’s level of performance drop off there has to be a reason for it. It’s a combo of things that have contributed to us not performing at a level that is expected. Those need to be addressed systematically and turned around so we can build the style of play and style of team that we want to have here. John is an accomplished coach. Six years ago everyone thought that Alain Vigneault couldn’t change from a defensive style coach to an offensive style coach. If given the resources and the players are committed to it any coach can coach the team that he has but having said that, our problems are far reaching and will be addressed. If people don’t want to get onside with how I view this team and how it’s supposed to play then they won’t be here.”
  • “I’m tired of chasing a moving target. We will get back to the fundamentals and principles that I believe in and if people don’t want to comply, we did this six years ago, we made hard choices and those hard choices will come again if people aren’t on the same page.”
  • How do you want to play, “I want us to play up beat, puck possession, move the puck quickly, force teams into mistakes, high transition game. I think we have the personnel to do it and if we don’t then it will be changed. That is my vision and how I believe you win in the Western Conference. If you look at the top teams, there isn’t a lot that separates them but the top teams played that way and that is the way we played. We made a lot of enemies playing that way but had success.”

When Tortorella was fired by the Rangers, Glen Sather said that the game was changing and that the teams who are at the top of the league aren’t doing a lot of dump-ins.

Sather said last August, “I think one of the things that I really didn’t like about the system we played was that we inhibited the ability of these offensive players to be as creative as they can be. I know John well and John always said that he didn’t stop those guys from being creative but there are ways where you inhibit that by stifling creativity. I wanted a bit more of an open style and it’s what we are going to get out of Vigneault. It’s the way he has always played and he is still conscious defensively but he likes to play his room a little more than John would. I think these guys will produce a lot more than they did last year.”

Ranger management thought that the team was “unwatchable” in the playoffs last year.

Read: It is weird for John Tortorella to see the Rangers without Ryan Callahan

CallahanOn March 17th the Tampa Bay Lightning, with Ryan Callahan, defeated John Tortorella and the Canucks 4-3.

In that game, Ryan Callahan played 21:35 with an assist, 3 shots on goal, 3 shots that missed the net and 1 hit.

John Tortorella said that with Callahan being his captain and someone he spent a lot of time with, seeing him in a Tampa Bay jersey “didn’t look right” and struck him as funny. (Newsday)

Tortorella added that Callahan leaves a big hole not only on the ice but in the locker room but added that the Rangers have found their way. (Newsday)

Pierre LeBrun and Katie Strang said in February that they didn’t think things ended that well between Tortorella and Callahan.

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Recap: John Tortorella’s comments today

4:36PM: John Tortorella met with the media in Vancouver earlier today (Canucks)

  • On seeing the Rangers, “I’ve been gone long enough and I don’t do too much reminiscing right now.”
  • On how the Rangers are transitioning, “you know what…I haven’t, as you well know, I’m just trying to spend my time trying to keep this team playing and we don’t spent a lot of time on the other team, it’s a matter of our game and our execution so that is what we spend a great deal of time with.”
  • On the Canucks needing to win it, “I don’t know what the arithmetic is, losing the other night it puts us in a real precarious spot, we all know that. The guys came in today, we met, we taped, we went about the business as usual and are trying to get better…against a team that is playing very well. We have our hands full tomorrow night.”
  • Did you spend time during the year looking at what the Rangers were doing, “no. I have too much fun with these guys (pointing to the media) here…..I didn’t.”
  • Did you pay attention to the Rangers, “one thing that is different for me is that three hours out west, you really don’t spend much time or have the opportunity to really worry about it. We could see what our division was right away, that we are in, that we would have our hands full. We spent a lot of time there, Larry, on what we needed to do as a club. It might be a little different for me, I won’t lie to you, you always when you leave a team and you spend five years, you look at some guys but when it’s east/west it kind of blocked it out and I just worried about our business here.”

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