May 12, 2012, 11:46 PM EDT
John Tortorella is a big reason why this New York Rangers team has (seemingly) overachieved more often than not under his watch. Still, his fondest coaching memories likely came during his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning, when he helped them win a Stanley Cup. Torts reflected on the effect big playoff wins can have, as he told ESPN’s Katie Strang.
“This is where your legacy is made, the playoffs,” Tortorella said.
Tortorella is notorious for … frosty press conferences, so his post-Game 7 spiel was relatively verbose. He shared his philosophy on home ice advantage (it’s “garbage” until Game 7 rolls around) and praised his team’s efforts in the third period, calling it one of their best.
Most Rangers players tempered their enthusiasm with the inevitable “we’re not done yet” caveat, but it’s pretty clear from the locker room and press conference commentaries that the Rangers are happy with their efforts.
One could argue that they’ll need a more consistent output in the Eastern Conference finals, however, as they’ll face their division rivals the New Jersey Devils, who are hotter and more talented than their No. 6 seed would suggest.
(They also have quite the legacy of their own.)
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