During his press conference following the Winter Classic, on the NHL Network, John Tortorella praised both Brandon Prust and Mike Rupp as “glue guys” and huge parts of the Rangers.
He talked about how he knows that both players can “play” and that they are more than just guys who do the “heavy lifting”
They have been like four or five minute guys and they do the heavy lifting when it comes to that kind of stuff. I just don’t want them to think that’s their only role. We know Rupp can play and we know Pruster can play. It’s been a little bit of a struggle. To see them ignite us a little bit is important for the team. They are glue guys and are very important to the team in the room. I think everybody pulls for those type of players because they know they are being taken care of on the ice with them.
John Tortorella told Ranger Rants how much of an important player Prust is, “I’ve always said about Pruster, he’s a really good teammate and people—he’s a glue guy and people pull for him. I think it’s very important. It’s not talked about, but how your locker room is before you step on the ice is a very important aspect of trying to win games and he’s a huge part of that intangible.”
This team is full of good guys and players that like each other. That really comes across on 24/7. It’s a loose attitude among the team but they know what is at stake when they come to the rink. A guy like Rupp, who is a veteran, has won a cup, and understands his role is a huge part of the team. It’s the guys who don’t always get the most ice time, but make the big contributions in the locker room that are needed for any team that is going to win.