Read: The Missing Heart and How To Get It Back

In the NY Post, they write that heart and determination that defined the Rangers over the past couple of seasons is non-existent right now. Rangers alternate captain Brad Richards seemed to agree,“That’s a big detail. How we play and how this team has played the last couple years is not there yet.”

In the third period on Sunday Chris Kreider was hit by Brooks Orpik, and while saying the hit was clean, he said maybe that is what the team needs,”That is a big problem with our club right now. Maybe we need to get whacked around a little more to wake us up.

Carp at Rangers Report wrote “I am not totally saying this is because they don’t have the two Brandons around, because it can’t be. But they sure have been missing that Rangers’ “jam” the first two games.”

Adam Rotter: On 10/31 last season the Rangers were 3-3-2 and coming off a terrible loss to Ottawa where they blew a lead and lost in OT. The Rangers won that night, 10/31, against the Sharks and following the game, Joe Thornton called the Rangers “soft.” Thornton backtracked, Tortorella ripped him and the Rangers won their next six games, lost two games and then won their next five. It was a galvanizing moment where the Rangers identity was questioned and they responded by showing the rest of the league how “soft” they were.

That is what needs to happen now. Through the first two games there is a lack of cohesion and flow and every time there was a post-whistle scrum I was hoping that THAT was going to be the moment where they all looked at each other and nodded because they knew what needed to be done. Something, maybe it was the hit on Chris Kreider, needs to bring this team onto the same page and propel them forward. Arron Asham tried to do that, the same way Brandon Prust did against the Flyers last season, but it didn’t take. The Rangers need a personal challenge to rally around and they should try and find it as soon as they can.

Read: Using Joe Thornton’s Comment As Motivation

Last week, following the Rangers win over the San Jose Sharks, Joe Thornton made some comments about the Rangers being soft.

He backed off those comments but John Tortorella still ripped him.

Thornton then formally apologized for those comments later in the week.

Katie Baker at Grantland writes that Versus’ Bill Patrick saw the move as a savvy one from Thornton to get the Rangers fired up to play Anaheim, a division rival for the Sharks, in their next game.

Elliotte Freidman wrote at CBC:

We expect players to care as much as we do, so we can’t rip them if they react angrily to being benched in critical moments (Ovechkin) or if they temporarily forget the cliches after a loss (Joe Thornton calling the Rangers “soft”). New York is 3-0 since Thornton said that, which can’t be a coincidence. John Tortorella’s probably reminding them before every period.

I think there could be a little bit of a coincidence between winning the last three games and the comments being said. They did beat San Jose pretty handily and showed the type of game that they can play and just continued to play like that over the next three games. I do think that this is being used as motivation though, and it should be. It can unite the team and give them another goal of proving what kind of team they are.

Read: Joe Thornton Apologizes For His Comments

On Monday night, Joe Thornton called the Rangers “soft.” The next day Thornton told Darren Dreger that “soft” wasn’t the word he meant to say in describing the Rangers.

On Tuesday, John Tortorella RIPPED Into Thornton during an event at the MSG training center.

Thornton apologized formally, in the San Jose Mercury News, for his comments yesterday:

“Every couple of years you have to say some sort of bone-headed thing,” Thornton said. “Usually I’m pretty good, but I say the wrong word once in awhile. But no harm done. I just used the wrong word.”

He said he had no comment on what John Tortorella had to say.

Read: Joe Thornton Didn’t Mean To Call The Rangers Soft (JOHN TORTORELLA RIPS HIM)

Update: 3:36PM:

Update: 2:49PM: Pat Leonard of the Daily News has this quote from Torts on Thornton:

“Yeah it caught me off-guard when it was brought up after the game,” Tortorella said at the team’s Greenburgh practice facility Tuesday morning. “It surprised me, and I’ve never heard a player say that. Joe’s a heck of a player, but here’s a player popping off about our team, and Joe hasn’t won a g–damn thing in this league. He could go down as a player, being one of the better players in our league never to win anything. So what he should do is just shutup. It was uncalled for, it was classless, and I’ve never had it happen like that before.”

When told about the comments last night, Tortorella responded “wonderful.”

If only Torts had also mentioned that he didn’t deserve the Hart Trophy in 2006 and that everyone knows that Jaromir Jagr did.

Original Post: Last night, following the Rangers 5-2 defeat of the Sharks, San Jose captain Joe Thornton called the Rangers “soft” and thought that his team should have picked up the two points.

Thornton apparently didn’t mean to insult the Rangers with his comment:

Adam Rotter: Whatever. The Rangers won and won’t play the Sharks until next season unless it is in the Stanley Cup finals. Players don’t forget though. So the next time Joe Thornton is on the ice, I am pretty sure that he will find out how soft the Rangers are.

Note: Joe Thornton Calls The Rangers Soft

Update: 10:10PM: On the postgame show on MSG, Stan Fischler asked Torts about Thornton’s comments.

Tortorella responded with “wonderful,”

Original Post: On the postgame show on MSG, Joe Thornton called the Rangers “soft” and calls them the softest team that they played on their road trip. Thornton said that the Sharks should have won tonight.

Brandon Dubinsky responds by saying that the Rangers played very well tonight and deserved the two points that they won. Dubinsky said that tonight’s win was the closest to how the Rangers want to play throughout the season.

The Rangers had 28 hits in the game.

Interesting words from Thornton. They won’t play again this season unless it is in the Stanley Cup finals.