“Let’s not kid ourselves; we’ll be bouncing around Europe in the pre-season and opening regular season games before we return to The Garden. Then there’s the Winter Classic which will demand a lot of attention. With all those things going on, we’re going to have to keep our focus and improve each and every day.”
Tortorella to Stan Fischler at MSG
So while the NHL hasn’t announced the game, John Tortorella is the latest to confirm the Rangers will be in the Winter Classic.
Focus is the key word for this season. The Rangers are the same team as they were last season, plus Brad Richards, Mike Rupp and maybe Tim Erixon, and that will help them deal with all of the distractions that they will come to face. They know each other. They care for each other and they know what is now at stake. They look at the roster and they think they can play with the big boys at the top . They need to look at these trips as just hockey games. They are the same two points in Europe and Western Canada that they would be at MSG or anywhere else. The Winter Classic is the same thing. There is hype and hoopla around it, but it’s only a two point game and the approach should be the same as it would be for any other game.