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.
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.
The Rangers’ woeful 2-for-21 power play can be pinpointed to the underwhelming play of Brad Richards and Rick Nash, their two highest paid players.
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.
Dan Girardi and Derek Stepan scored third-period goals for the New York Rangers, who squandered a two-goal lead and then held on to get even in the best-of-seven playoff series with a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.
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.
Less-heralded Braden Holtby is looking to continue outperforming Henrik Lundqvist as the series shifts to Madison Square Garden.
Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett were inserted into the Rangers’ lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
The Rangers may be able to push the Caps, but this is Washington’s series to win. The Rangers may get two games, but it’s Oates, Ovechkin and the Capitals who will go on to the second round.
“I think it solidified our team,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said of the deadline dealing. “We have kind of grown since then … I thought it changed our team a little bit, and we took off.”
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.