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Tortorella on lockout slowing Rangers’ momentum: “To be quite honest, it worries me”

Oct 24, 2012, 12:41 PM EDT

John Tortorella Getty Images

John Tortorella enjoyed great success last season, his fourth at the Rangers’ helm. The team won 50-plus games for the first time and made it to the conference finals for the first second time since capturing the Stanley Cup in 1994.

But today, he’s worried that success might all go for naught.

That’s what Torts explained to the New York Post on Wednesday, saying he fears the lockout could curb his club’s momentum.

“To be quite honest, it worries me,” Tortorella said. “When our guys report to camp in September under normal circumstances, they have a physical and mental edge from preparing for our testing that’s extremely important to the way we go about our business as a hockey club.

“There’s a mindset from this group, a mindset from the New York Rangers that defines us and factors into everything we do,” he continued. “And I know the guys are trying their best to stay at it, but it worries me that they’ve lost that mindset.”

Several factors play into this line of thinking.

— Only three Rangers have found work during the lockout: Rick Nash (Switzerland), Carl Hagelin (Swedish Div. 2) and Ryan McDonagh (KHL).

— Down in AHL Connecticut, Chris Kreider is the only legit roster candidate worth watching. (To that end, Tortorella told The Post that “none of the kids is really playing well,” with the Whale.)

— The 30-and-over set (Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Henrik Lundqvist, Mike Rupp) aren’t playing at all.

The end result? An aging roster that’s been largely inactive since being eliminated by the Devils on May 25.

Yet even with those concerns, Tortorella still has high expectations of his club…for whenever hockey starts back up.

“The one thing we have to make sure of as a franchise is that we do not allow this interruption to hurt our momentum,” Tortorella said. “We cannot use this as an excuse.”

  1. jessejames182 - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    oh yes the glorious rangers momentum of throwing every able bodied person in front of the net and hope you don’t get scored on first. you’re a joke tortaloser.

  2. id4joey - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    This article offers very little, and so does Tortorella. You have to appreciate how the Rangers are prepared to play every game. Their positional play is second to none, they are as consistent as a Swiss watch. And, yes! Shot blocking is a critical part of the game stats. This coach knows how to prepare a team. Yes! He has very little finesse and patience for press conferences. Imagine if he were in the worst city when it comes to journalists. Montreal! Every team will be on equal ground when the season starts. I believe all he needs to do is prep his team according to the cards he’s been dealt. I really don’t see any issues except for injuries stemming from playing overseas.

    • blomfeld - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      “I really don’t see any issues” ? …

      well I can see one friend … and that’s this lil ol’ team called the Los Angeles Kings ! … you know, the reigning Stanley Cup Champions and absolute “best” team in the world today ! … GO KINGS GO !!!! … surf’s up man ! … good times ! :)

      ps: but then I guess you already knew that since we’re the same person eh ? 😉

      • id4joey - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        Hahaha! It’s well known in the world of hockey that goalies are quirky, and you blomfeld, have proven that point. Me! I’m just a crazy non existent impostor. Hahahaha! When my wife comes home tonight I won’t be there……

        If anything the lockout helps the LA Kings. You know the start of the season for a SC champion is always difficult after a summer of partying.

  3. jetmetfan - Oct 24, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    By the way, ’12 was the Rangers’ first ECF since ’97 not ’94. It’s only a few years difference but it’s all we have.

  4. eyeh8goodell - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    No, that was the Devils slowing your “momentum”. Dumb little midget.

    • stakex - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:29 PM

      You need to look up the word momentum. Did they win the cup? Nope… but as a whole they have been getting better and better over the last three seasons. Hence, they have momentum. Losing to the Devils doesn’t change that, unless of course the Rangers came out and played awful this year.

  5. jessejames182 - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    P.S. I’m a devils fan. that was sarcasm. rangers suck.

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