Recap: Behind The Bench With John Tortorella and Mike Keenan

From 3/15/12

  • On keeping the focus and not paying attention to distractions, Tortorella said “we just try to block it out. We have talked about not paying attention to the standings. It has been a different year this year, but different in a good way”
  • “The room is beginning to self sustain.” Tortorella says that you can’t keep preaching the same things because you can lose the players. He thinks that it is disrespectful to the players and they need to take the onus
  • Torts talks about how the team needs to stay together and grow together at this time of year.
  • Keenan talks about how teams are going to measure themselves against the Rangers.

  • On Brandon Dubinsky getting benched against Carolina a few weeks ago, Tortorella said that he knew right away that Dubi was done for the night. “he is going to pay the price and a coach is really anxious to see how he responds. I think he has responded tremendously since then.” Torts says that they haven’t talked about the incident. Torts and Keenan say that players need to deal with their mistakes and that they don’t know if they will get back on the ice
  • Keenan tells a story of how he benched Chris Chelios after one shift and then Chelios apologized to his teammates and Keenan after the game for not being ready to play.
  • Mike Rupp is profiled and says that he likes to hold onto the puck in the offensive zone and likes to finish his hits.
  • Tortorella says that he wants more ice time for Rupp but that he has done a great job cultivating the locker room.
  • On Rupp, Torts adds that he has mentored a lot of players in regards to how to be a pro. He says that it has been hard for him on the ice this season and that his knee may still be bugging him a little bit.
  • Torts says that Rupper has helped him on the bench in to calm him down. Rupp will make comments facing the ice but that are meant for Torts.
  • Torts says that one of his weaknesses is that he gets too involved emotionally and it can hurt the team.
  • Keenan and Tortorella say that they know when players are talking to them even if they aren’t looking at them.
  • Torts says that you can’t hold grudges against players during the game, “you hammer it out as men and then you move on. Those types of situations bring you closer because you go through them all year long”
  • Brian Boyle was mic’d up and kept breaking his sticks during practice
  • Torts says that everything now is about keeping the team fresh
  • Torts diagrams many times how the Rangers try to limit Ilya Kovalchuk;s time and space
  • “We have cut back on a lot of the tape, We feel that the players understand how we have to play”
  • “we have a strong belief that we like the way we play and we are not looking to make a lot of adjustments with that. Don’t lose your foundation”
  • On getting stressed, Torts says that you can’t be out of your mind and that you are running your hockey club. He says that you need to be solid in how you approach your team everyday and that the stress level needs to be hidden from the players
  • On the Broadway Hat, Torts says that he will never get it and that he is never in the room when it happens. He calls it ridiculous looking and that it belongs with them and it’s the only time that the music is shut off in the locker room