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.
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.
This series is going to be won in the corners and the dirty areas of the ice. It will be a grind-it-out kind of series that will have John Tortorella’s men licking their chops.
Marc Staal is unsure when he’ll return to the Rangers’ lineup after suffering another setback.
Let’s face it, the Rangers have a lot of positives going for them right now. And they’re playing the sort of gritty hockey typical of a John Tortorella-coached team.
While the Capitals stayed off the ice on Tuesday to recover, the Rangers held a full practice. They were without forward Rick Nash, who was given a “maintenance day,” and Darroll Powe, who was injured on Monday and is unlikely to play in Game 4.
The Rangers did a lot of good things and struggled in other areas. Here are three things I took from Monday night — good and bad.
Rangers coach John Tortorella certainly wasn’t going to wait any longer to get Staal right back into the heart of the action.
Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett were inserted into the Rangers’ lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
What would playoff hockey be without the Rangers playing the Capitals?
After quickly dismissing a question regarding the health and status of key defenseman Marc Staal, by saying there was no update regarding his eye injury, Tortorella became engaged when asked about rising star Derek Stepan.
I ask Rangers fans to carefully examine which side of the fence they’re on. Ridding of Tortorella before season’s end or in the summer would probably set the Rangers back a decade.
What made the Rangers great last season was their ability to protect third-period leads. It’s up to them to follow that blueprint in order to replicate the success of 2011-12.
Sean Hartnett hands out his grades for the Rangers at the midway point of the season. Would you give John Tortorella and his boys a pass or fail?