Recap: John Tortorella on the Michael Kay Show

  • On the season ending, Torts says “we are a couple of wins away and I thought we were beginning to play our best hockey of the series. We just need to push on and try to get better.”
  • On being good enough to win this year, Torts says that teams that were knocked out early were better than the Rangers, but it’s not about who is the best, it’s about who is playing the best.
  • On bringing up the topic of being tired, Torts says “don’t bring it up. I’ll hang up.”
  • On the style of play wearing the Rangers down, Torts says that the Rangers had the Devils “bent over” in the last two games.
  • “we have a very rigorous camp and our guys due their work during the summer. I think it’s a cop out and I’m listening to all these idiots covering our team now talking about blocking shots and being tired. We lost that series because Jersey was playing better than us, not because we were tired”
  • “I have to give Jersey credit. They are more balanced than we are and deeper offensively. We lost some of our swagger because we just didn’t have the puck enough.”
  • On Marian Gaborik, “Gabby wasn’t benched because he didn’t block a shot, he just wasn’t playing well. He needs to learn, along with a number of guys, that when you get to the conference finals you need to get it to another. I don’t think he was able to, I don’t think Brad did. The entire team didn’t. I think it’s a tremendous lesson for us if we get that chance again.”
  • “I think we accelerated our process. We are a young team still trying to find our way. I thought we came along way as a team. I want them to learn how hard it is to get there and how hard it is to play in this situation. The first time in Tampa we won a round and thought we won the Stanley Cup, then Jersey came in and kicked our ass. It’s a 60+ day tournament. you need to get better and better as each day passes by”
  • “Sometimes when I am talking to the team it may sound like I am giving it to them, but it’s also that there is so much going on on the scoreboard that the players can’t hear me.”
  • “I think we learned some lessons. We weren’t good enough. I think we lost our mindset and we didn’t stick our chest out and have that kind of swagger early in the series.”

Commercial

Second segment below

  •  On adding scorer that doesn’t play defense, “you are reading newspapers, aren’t ya? I think the guys writing about us with the shot blocking are idiots. Blocking shots is part of playing defense and we have a couple of guys out here that don’t understand. It makes me upset because it disrespects the players. This idiots that jumps on and following us and has no clue.
  • On blocking shots, “it’s the right way to play. We are not going to turn a prolific goal scorer into a banger. It’s beyond me why the guys covering our teams start picking at this. Half the guys covering our teams haven’t played a sport in their life and don’t get it.”
  • On MDZ, “he has stayed within himself. Started off the playoffs playing really well for us and then started to struggle. He made some pretty big mistakes for us, but I think it gives him another chance to look at it as a learning experience. I look to see what kind of mental makeup he has to see if he can get better.
  • On Pete DeBoer, “I have never met Peter. I think he took exception to a clean hit behind the net. I don’t begrudge him trying to protect his. I was done with that after, I know it makes for good stories, but we are talking about discipline and keeping our composure. I don’t remember what he said to me and I don’t remember what I said to him.”
  • On Chris Kreider, Torts says “There was almost a little bit of Linsanisty going on with it. I made sure to watch his interviews with the media and I thought he handled himself tremendously. I just love the way he handled himself mentally. He has a couple of tremendous attribute with his legs and size. I think he has a lot to learn about the game and the concentration level in the game but he is an exciting one for next year.
  • On Hank getting some blame, “I love this guy. He has gotten better as a goalie, but he has to do more. Tim Thomas re-wrote the record book as far as goaltending to win the Stanley Cup. Everyone on this team needs to be better. We didn’t even make it to the Finals.”
  • On supporting Hank, “no one exudes competing and hard work more than Hank. His preparation is over the top and he is the backbone of our team. You can just feel his impact around the team. He just shows it and that is what athletes respect about him”
  • On the press conferences, Torts says “I don’t want to be seen that way. I can’t really predict how I am going to act. I think there are some really good guys with the media, but the thing I don’t like about is ‘John can you talk about this’? Just ask me a question. We are going to face a team for two weeks and I don’t want to give out that much info. I think I get asked a lot of stupid questions because of social media and blogs and they ask me questions that they have the answer to but they just need my quote. I made a lot of mistakes and I will make more next year. I go in thinking that I will protect my team during the playoffs. I don’t like doing it during the exhibition season. I am not removed from a bench or locker room of athletes competing. I am involved in it and charged up. Quite honestly I have never been good at it and I think that some media people need to ask pertinent questions.”
  • Torts talks about being asked about calling a timeout and being asked about it and then questions like Carl Hagelin coming back into the lineup. “well how do you think he feels? You think he feels crappy and wants to sit out a fourth game?”
  • “Pat is a good man. I like Pat, its his first year doing it, I don’t agree with his evaluations of players but don’t ask me questions about moving guys around. He is a good guy, but I think that some guys think they know too much about it and they don’t know anything about it.”
  • On his families reaction to his press conferences, “my wife won’t even talk to me half the time. I just don’t like giving that much information out there in the playoffs.”
  • “I think the organization has a pretty good handle as where we are as a team. Sometimes you overachieve, sometimes you struggle, but we are in a process of needing to be consistently there. We have been chased since December as the top team in the conference.”
  • “Expectations at the beginning of the year will be very important and they will be accelerated.” “I am not sure we are ready to win it now.”
  • Torts says that he won’t watch the finals.
  • Torts says that he doesn’t need a coach to just coach the PP. Torts praises Mike Sullivan and the coaching staff. “I will never stand in his way and I hope things work out that way.”
  • In looking for an assistant coach, Torts says that he wants someone who will challenge him and he likes that Sully and Schoenfeld all put their opinions out there when they have them. Everyone is up front about everything. “We all learn from one another. We are all head coaches here. If you stop putting across your views, the team will falter.”
  • Torts says that the team needs to strengthen the blue line. I just didn’t have enough trust. Everyone is talking about a scorer but those don’t just drop down to you. With the development of our young guys like Stepan, Hagelin, Kreider, you have to worry about your back end as you build up.”
  • Tortorella says that he will be in NY for another month before going away with his family.