Recap: John Tortorella on MIKE FRANCESA

  • On the season, Torts says that the Rangers progressed and are going down the right road. I think we accelerated by going to the conference finals, though we can’t be satisfied.
  • On learning about players, Torts says that a lot of good stuff happened but stuff that raises questions as well.
  • Francesa gets Torts to laugh by saying he won’t ask about specific players.
  • “I think we still have a ways to go in the process to be an elite team that is going to be there everywhere.”
  • On the team in Tampa that won, “we were just playing well at the right time. We are going down the same road here. I am excited about the youth and we are going down the right road.”
  • “We lost and we should have lost. We didn’t play enough minutes.”
  • On the Devils, they are a “very well balanced and well coached team.” He says that the Devils were very difficult to play against and the Rangers lost their swagger since they didn’t have the puck.
  • “They were more balanced and deeper offensive team than we are now.”

CONTINUE READING to see what Torts said about his press conferences and his coaching style

  • On adding scoring, Torts says that the idea of shot blocking and way the team plays defense has taken on a life of it’s own. “we play hard defense and shot blocking is part of it. When some creativity can be brought into your team, you are not going to look by that. If you want to get where you want to be it’s a two-way street in trying to defend and play away from the puck.”
  • “we can’t be an organization that sits still, everyone is going to get better.”
  • On what some people in the media are saying about the Rangers “It’s disrespecting our players. We have a couple of idiots that follow our team and don’t understand the game. I am really proud of the club and how hard they play. We were one of 3 teams left our of 30. The thing that upsets me the most is that it disrespects the player. I will protect this team because they play hard.”
  • “It’s trying to be the best you can be and it’s a really good group of guys and some of the stuff being said after we are done is being done by people that don’t have a clue.”
  • “We pride ourselves in trying to play the right way. Shot blocking has to be part of your game if you are going to win the Stanley Cup.”
  • “We have a couple of guys who jump on the wagon when the playoffs start and they don’t know what they are talking about.”
  • “Jersey deserves to be there because they played better than we did.”
  • “Your best players need to be your best players and for guys like Cally, Step, Richie and Gabby to do their thing, they need to have the puck and we didn’t have it.”
  • “they are a resilient group and I want to protect them. Half the guys talking about our team picked us to finish 7th, 8th or 9th”
  • On being better, “we need to secure more on our blue line. We need to add more depth up front. We were 11th in the NHL in scoring but I still believe that we need to add something there. I don’t think you can sit still and you need to get better in all areas. We have a world class goalie who gives us an opportunity every night. I think he made a tremendous step this year but we are still going to ask more our of him if we want to get where we want to be.”
  • On Torts coaching during the game, he says “that in certain situations you need to let your players work things out, certain situations you need to help them and sometimes you need to kick them.”
  • On dividing ice time, Torts says “we adjust on the fly and I put people on the ice that I think are going to give us the best chance to win a game. Gabby had some struggles and was sit down
  • On his infamous press conference against the Caps, “There were two reporters there, they asked me two questions and we stared at each other and I just left.”
  • On his press conferences in the playoffs, Torts says “I didn’t want that attention and I think I did some pretty stupid stuff in Washington in 2009 when I got booted out of the game. When you play a series against a team for two weeks, I just don’t want to give up that much information.”
  • “Do I need to answer the kinds of questions like ‘how does a player feel coming back to the lineup after being suspended three games.’ Well how the hell do you think he feels.”
  • “I am still charged after the game and I don’t like to give that much info.”
  • On a John Tortorella coached team, Torts says ” we have spent three years keeping this core together. I really like this team. The camaraderie is really good and I think that a coach has to be out of the room and let the room take over itself. What you saw this year was something really good, we showed up every night.”
  • On being close, Torts says “we are going down the right road. I think we accelerated the process this year. I think it will do us a tremendous amount of good if we get this opportunity again. You can’t stand still or you will spin your wheels because all the other teams are trying to do it.”
  • “I don’t know a damn thing about LA.” On the Devils, “they are playing their best hockey at the right time of the year. They are such a balanced team and that has proven to help them. They have had tremendous starts throughout the playoffs. The key thing is that it’s not the best teams, but it’s the team that is playing the best. There were probably 3 or 4 teams better than the Devils, Rangers and Kings.”