Recap: John Tortorella On WFAN with Mike Francesa

  • On the differences of a 48 game seaosn, “you aren’t jamming too much to them in a few days. We skated three days and I looked at them yesterday and they were ragged. We have to be really careful how much we force feed. I think it’s just gauging your team on where they are physically and mentally.”
  • “My biggest responsibility is understanding each day how much we can give them.”
  • “I have talked with my leaders through the last five or six days about what we should do. I grab Ryan Callahan and ask him “how are you?” I ask him what we should do in terms of conditioning and that is very important. I think our group has done a really good job the last few days.”
  • On the optimal amount of time to get his team ready, “I would like two weeks. Two weeks is good for me. Our camp is set up where we don’t touch pucks the first couple of days. It is all about conditioning. We have the middle part where we work on the team concept and the end is where you just get where you need to be. We have so many guys back from prior years that they understand how to do this.”
  • On expecting injuries, “I worry about that. The hump day is usually the third day in camp and you could tell. The trainers come to me and tell me that some guys have groin issues or hip-flexors. I just don’t think the athletes have had enough time to deal with the grind.”
  • “The biggest part of my job this year is keeping them healthy and keeping them on a plane where they don’t fade out.”

  • On limiting minutes, “I think we need to win all 48 games. You get into a little bit of a jam, especially where we only play our conference, it will be touch to crawl out of it. I want to win every game and put my top guys out there all the time, but you walk a fine line because they aren’t prepared the same way. I am going to make decisions based on how to win that particular game.”
  • On using Hank, “One of the biggest things we found with Hank is that when he starts getting sloppy he needs to practice. His game tends to slip when he rests during the practice days. He will play a lot of the 48. If we get into the playoffs we need a fresh goalie. He needs to practice the proper way.”
  • On getting rest, “I have 23 days off penciled in for them. You can fall into the trap that you need to practice and then you can bury your team. Recovery is key.”
  • On the game suffering in a specific way, “I think there will be more penalties in both zones because the conditioning isn’t there yet. Our guys skated all through the lockout but they didn’t grind and they didn’t battle and that is where the conditioning comes in. That ability to sustain the grinding is a big way that we play.”
  • On taking the next step, “a big step is to handle the expectations. We make the Nash deal and how we handle the expectation is an important point. Everyone expects us to take the next step, but we need to just stay within ourselves. What I truly respect about ourselves is that they handle each day, work at that day and take the next one as it comes. Our team will be ready to play and a number of things will need to turn right”
  • On the team from last year, “I think they believe that they are going to win and that brings an attitude. I think they are more confident in how they go about their business. It is tough to win in this league and you need to believe you can do it before you step on the ice. One of the biggest aspects that has improved is the mental aspect. We have such a great leadership group that takes care of the room when the coaches aren’t in there.”
  • On a player stepping up, “if we are going to go where we want to be and compete at the level we were at last year, everyone needs to improve. We are not sneaking up on anybody. We get a hell of a player in Nash, but we lost a number of people. Other people need to fill their shoes.”
  • “the reason that we win is that we play as a team”
  • On Nash, “he hasn’t played in the playoffs. In the short term I have known this guy, I can barely get a word out of him, I watch him in the weight room and I watch him on the ice, he is low maintenance and I think he is looking to grab a hold of this and NYC. I expect big things out of him. The way he handles himself, no baggage here.”
  • On expectations, “I don’t care what people are thinking. We are going to go about it one day at a time.”
  • On the players handling expectations, “we have had many talks about this, about handling distractions, I am not worried about them. Each day we need to work as hard as we possibly can.”
  • On coaching the 48 game season, “I had a schedule for camp and I have already made a number of changes based on the athletes. I have a foundation of how I want to go about it but I will need to be open minded just based on how we are. I like structure and we will have structure, but I need to be fair and listen to the athletes.”
  • On being warm and fuzzy, “not a chance.”
  • “I respect these guys. When you coach guys for a while you need to respect them and change with them. I think we all understand each other and it needs to be a partnership in getting through each day the best we can.”
  • On making decisions, “I go with my stomach. I’ll use my stomach to make decisions but I need their help. They are the ones going through the grind, battling, taking the bumps and they feel more comfortable doing that with me.”