Brad Richards is without a role and will soon be bought out by the Rangers because of a shrinking salary cap and long offseason checklist for GM Glen Sather.
While Tortorella didn’t want to use injuries as an excuse, the Rangers were severely hampered by a number of key injuries.
The Blueshirts are very far from being a perfect hockey club – but they’re even further from being branded as a common, run-of-the-mill team.
“Kiss my a– if you want to run something different,” said Torts. “It’s not about blaming that guy, and I don’t want anyone to pile on.”
The Rangers dug out of their deficits and were still tied at the end of regulation. Surely the overtime bug would bite them again, no? No. Not this time.
Tortorella is writing his own epitaph. Unless his defining messages bring about a miracle, he seems to be in his final days of coaching a team that has been a heartbreaking disappointment each of the last two playoff years.
Struggling Rangers center Brad Richards says he will be a healthy scratch Thursday night as New York faces elimination in Game 4 against the Boston Bruins.
Any kind of comeback now starts with Game 4 in New York. Three teams have recovered from an 0-3 hole to win an NHL series.
Brad Richards has become a helpless passenger on the Rangers’ road to ruin, and he only has himself to blame for his undesirable situation.
“We’ll meet (Wednesday), practice, and we’re going to try to win a game,” Tortorella said. “That’s all you can do. Down 3-0, it’s a very tough situation, but I have full faith in our athletes. They will be ready to play another game.”
History is hardly on the Rangers’ side. New York is 2-19 in series in which it trailed 0-2, and no NHL team has won consecutive series after losing the first two games.
No team has ever come back from 0-2 deficits in back-to-back series in NHL history. If there’s ever a team that might do it, it’s Tortorella’s prideful Rangers.
The Blueshirts aren’t about to go down against the Bruins without a fight as their series heads to Madison Square Garden.
If Tortorella had wanted to take home-ice advantage away from the Bruins, he could have attacked the defense with an extra forechecker and forced the action. Instead, he stuck with his usual plan of attack.
The Rangers played like a group of brainless zombies Thursday night, only lacking a lust for flesh — or in their case a lust for goals.