Recap: John Tortorella On The Michael Kay Show

Tortorella 24/7John Tortorella was a guest on the Michael Kay Show:

  • On beating the Flyers, “I don’t know. We have just found our way. There has been no reason that sticks out to me. They are usually close games. I don’t have a clue why we have won so many games against them.”
  • On the star players, “You just look at Brad on the fifth goal and he allowed the play to come to him. He waits for the offense to come to him. I think that is such a telling tale for Brad and to let the offense come to him. It opens up the game. Step has been one of our best players all year long. Chris Kreider played very well. Miller played really well. We need to stay with what we are doing well and hope that our guys feel better about the game. Coaches can’t teach creativity.”
  • On Rick Nash and spreading scoring, “we are hoping some other guys do. We are waiting for Gabby to get here. He is a really good player. It isn’t happened for him this year but we believe it will. It’s a very odd year and it needs to happen now. If we can stay within ourselves as far as playing away from the puck and our offensive guys are consistent with some creativity, we have a chance. If we don’t, we don’t have a chance.”

  • Can Kreider learn from Miller, “I don’t like comparing them. I think they are two different types of players. Chris has learned a lot in the process. The coaches in CT did a great job with him. Understanding play away from the puck is the key with a young player. If they don’t hurt us defensively it allows me to get them on the ice and let them explore themselves as offensive players. We play in so many close games and have for years that it’s easy for people to say “let him play” and when the puck is in the back of your net and you are losing 4-2 it just isn’t right. I really like what he did yesterday. Not only did he end up with 3 or 4 scoring chances, but he did the job along the wall, he understands positioning away from the puck and I think he is beginning to have a bit of a personality and we are really excited about it.”
  • On living with defensive mistakes, “It’s an easy thing for people to say, people say many times about me that I don’t let my offensive players play and all it is is defense, defense defense. It’s so untrue. You just will not win in this league unless you play strong defense. When you talk about defense, people just think it’s about being in your end zone. Defense starts when you don’t have the puck, so that is something we have been working on. We are trying to establish our forecheck more so we don’t spend time in our endzone. We have a huge injury with Marc Staal and I have a huge amount of respect for how the guys have reacted, not just the defensemen but our forwards. You have to play stronger team defense when you lose a cog like that. It’s easy to pick apart a team and say that your offensive guys aren’t going so you aren’t letting them play. I don’t buy it. You win championships, you get into and compete in the playoffs if you understand how to play away from the puck cause if you do, you have the puck more and your offensive people have it more.
  • On Marc Staal, “I have no idea. I am not looking at updates with Marc. The biggest thing is that we just want him healthy and that is all he is working through right now. I don’t even have him in my mind right now. It’s not fair. The game of hockey means nothing. The injury that he had, we just want him healthy and we will worry about hockey when we find out that he is okay.”
  • On the struggles this year, “You make that Nash deal 10 out of 10 times, no question. You lose Dubinsky, you lose Anisimov and you lose Erixon who can play. You lose Prust, you lose Fedotenko, you lose Mitchell and I don’t think anyone in the organization felt losing those five guys would have the impact that it would have. We lose the middle of our lineup and the maneuverability that we had to get guys pushed in the lineup. I think that needs to be fixed as we go on here. To have a guy like Kreider begin to grow, to have a guy like Miller begin to grow, maybe they fill the middle of the lineup. We have lost our hardness and that is something that you needs to have if you want to keep competing. It’s easy to say that they went to the Conference Finals and they picked up Rick Nash, so now they should be in the Stanley Cup and win it. It doesn’t work that way. We have lost some components, I don’t think we realized how much we would miss those guys, but you can fix that much easier than getting a Rick Nash. You can never get Rick Nash. I don’t think we can get into a panic mode and we need to keep going about our business and hope that the foundation of our team will gain some traction.”
  • On visors, “I think players are nuts not to wear them. The way sticks are made, everything is bigger and faster, but I don’t think they should instill a rule that forces you to wear one. My opinion is that if I was a player I would have the visor on. Another player may be willing to live with the risk of going with that.”
  • On the Blackhawks, “I don’t know how they did it. The goaltender can do a lot of damage control. It far outweighs the starting pitcher, QB or point guard. I think there should be some change with the net. I don’t think they should be clown nets, but I think you can angle the post, make them thinner, pucks that hit the posts could go in instead of our. I love our sport, but it’s a team sport and I think the team gets taken out more often then any other sport with that position. We make a lot of mistakes that Henrik covers up for. You don’t win the games that you win without your goalie.”
  • On his feelings, “I like our team. I think we have to fix it a little bit and it’s fixable. It’s a lot easier to fix the middle of the team then fix the game breakers. I like where the organization is going, we just need to go day by day, defend the proper way and hopefully we can get more consistency from our offensive players. We are a different team from last year and we are trying to find a way to play to what this team is and I think we are close, but who the hell knows.”
  • On Zucc, “I think it’s very close. The paperwork and the KHL are holding it up, but I think it will happen.”