Recap: John Tortorella On Mike Francesa

John Tortorella

  • On everything coming together last night, “we didn’t expect it to be 5-0, but I think we played our best game in game seven.”
  • On how he felt after game six and the quick turnaround, “We won three of the last four heading into game seven. Henrik was playing very well. With the the back to back…. no one wants to listen to coaches or watch video after six times. I think game seven is the only time you have an advantage at home. I felt really good about our team.”
  • On changes, “we have tried different looks with our PP but none of the me worked. We don’t make too many adjustments, we believe in execution and staying with it.”

  • “I tried to play more players. A big part of our game is our forechecking and I didn’t use enough of my bench in game five and it impacted our forecheck. We changed our lines and it allowed me to use our lines more. “
  • On defending Ovechkin, “They got beat up. That is part of the game. Mac gets run over but he is ready to go right away. There was no retaliating because their PP is so good. You gotta take a hit to make a play. There was a lot of whining going on over there. We just shut our mouth and played.”
  • “It turned out to be our best game. You don’t know how it will happen. We played with a lot of confidence. You could feel it on the bench, the players knew they were playing well.”
  • On game sevens, “It’s coincidental. The teams that I have coached in these situations, they have been good teams. We try to pound home that you don’t have many chances to play in these games. The regular season crap is boring, so we tell them it’s an opportunity to play in a game seven and to enjoy it. I have had some really good teams around me.”
  • On balanced scoring, “It can come from anywhere. I stated that the winner of last night’s game was going to be when the top players from each team made a play. We held their top players. They did the same to ours. We get a goal from Pyatt, Michael Del Zotto, Asham scores a goal. Who is to figure, you don’t know what is going to happen. You stay in your team concept and you stay disciplined.”
  • On Lundqvist, “The thing with Hank. Forget about the saves he makes, he is such a competitor. He played well right on through the series. The save he makes before we score, it’s so important. He made great saves, but he made key saves at key times. It’s huge, especially at the end of the series.”
  • On needing the first goal, “we needed a good start. I thought we had a good start in game five, we are up 1-0 but then we lost ourselves. I wanted us to have a good physical start. I didn’t think it was a great start. To get that first goal certainly puts the pressure on the home team. There are a lot of things that build up. Momentum swings in playoffs are so important.
  • On building on a team wide performance, “Ryan Callahan, one of our top guys scored, Nasher played well. I thought Brad Richards had some good shifts. Everyone contributed it. You look at Boston, they are down 4-1 with 10 minutes left and come back to tie it and win it. You have two teams that play straight ahead hockey. I can’t wait to get going. I am glad we have an extra day. Some guys are beaten up. I think it will be a hell of a series.”
  • Can the team continue without the PP or Nash and Rangers, “We have to get them kicked in. I’m not gonna discuss a lot about the PP. It has taken on a life of it’s own. We have made some adjustments and we are hoping it’s a clean slate against Boston. As you get deeper and deeper a PPG will be so big. Some of the onus needs to fall on the coaches to get it figured out. We will need it this series. It’s strategy and efficiency, we don’t have a big shot from the blue line, it creates rebounds. I think we have people who can QB a PP. Those are the two components where we need to get some consistency. We need some puck poise. I think it needs to come to the forefront in this series.”
  • Do you need the big guys, “if we keep getting contributions from the middle of our lineup. Eventually your top players need to be making a difference for you. With Nasher, this is great experience for him. I think he had some really good games in this series but he is a little snake bitten around the net. I think it will change. I think he is close. I coached Richie in Tampa. He is a Conn Smythe winner. He knows what needs to be done.”
  • On the Columbus players, “Brass doesn’t even know what he is doing. He doesn’t even realize there is pressure in this, he is having so much fun. He is so free in how he is playing. You need to try and relax yourself. Johnny Moore is a guy we will be talking about in a couple of years as a steal in this trade. He has stood in there against some top people. Dorsett is our personality. New Yorkers are going to love him.
  • On the Bruins, “they are going to bang the hell out of us. It’s going to be a series along the boards. It’s going to be a series with two teams with similar styles.”
  • On matching up with the Bruins, “I think they are very similar styles. I think their coach would say the same thing. We have played some good games in Boston. You need to play 60 days to win the cup and we are just starting here. It’s a mindset as you go on deeper, that will be the test. I believe both teams have the proper mindset.
  • On building the team, “As you build your team for the future, I like the resiliency through he first round. Down 2-0 people wrote us off. The players took it one day at a time. They blocked out everything being said about them. I thought Washington was doing a little whining at the end, we shut our mouth and took hits to make plays. It’s a good group of people.”
  • On the overall process, “You an I talked about it. Just because you go to the conference finals doesn’t mean you win the Stanley Cup the next year. It’s impossible to keep a team together. I am glad we are still playing playoff games. I don’t think this year is a backwards step, I think it’s a sideways step. We are beginning to assemble an identity that we had last year. The last game we played in our series was the identity we played with in the playoffs last year. It’s a good thing heading into this series.”
  • Torts and Francesa joke about how coaches always find fault and dwell on negative things. They have a big laugh about it.