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Tortorella blasts “stupid question” about Rangers being in shape

Jan 25, 2013, 12:05 PM EDT

John Tortorella Getty Images

Following Thursday’s loss to the Flyers — dropping the Rangers to 1-3 on the year — John Tortorella was asked about his team’s fitness level to start the season.

Apparently, Torts didn’t like the query.

“That’s a stupid question,” Tortorella said (courtesy NY Times). “This team is in shape as far as what we’ve started with here, as far as how it’s happened with the lockout.

“That’s just a dumb question.”

While it’s understandable Tortorella was frustrated after a third loss in four games, he’s way off base here — especially because he opened the door to this line of questioning with comments he made during the lockout.

In October, Tortorella told the New York Post he was concerned his team might suffer physically because of the long layoff.

“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.”

So…you admit concern about losing a physical edge because of the lockout, but when someone asks a follow-up question to a topic you brought up, it’s stupid?

That isn’t right.

It’s also a fair question from a logistical standpoint. Only a handful of Rangers played overseas during the lockout and the over-30 set (Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Henrik Lundqvist, Mike Rupp) didn’t play at all.

Questions about their conditioning are legit.

Of course, this whole incident will likely be dismissed as the latest example of Torts being Torts. As we saw on Sunday, he’s already in midseason form — so another rip job shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.

  1. elemeno89 - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    god this guy needs to get back to reality and stop being such a prick to the people that have no connection to why his team is dropping the ball. they’re just doing their job, just like he is attempting to do his.

    • drewsylvania - Jan 25, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      Exactly. This is classic Torts.

  2. DED - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Seemed like a legitimate question to me.

    Then there’s the chemistry issue. The Rangers parted ways with four forwards: Dubinsky, Anisimov, Fedotenko, and Prust. That’s 1/3 of their forwards. While many of you will dispute their worth, particularly their offensive production, their defensive work was solid. Teammates knew their playing styles and could be counted on. You can’t expect to have that much turnover and not expect an adjustment period while the new guys get acclimated. Training camp would’ve been that adjustment period, but the lockout nixed that. So now the Rangers are struggling. They’ll recover; it’ll just take some time.

  3. thecheeman - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    I think ultimately Tortorella’s act to deflect attention from his team’s performance on to himself will be counterproductive. He’s got a top-line making over $22M a year and they’re all kind of shrinking violets as far as the media goes, despite Richards being a proven playoff performer. I think it would be better for Torts to step back, let Nash especially feel some of the New York glare, deal with it, move past it and perform, then when the playoffs come around he’ll be more prepared to deal with adversity.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      I think you could make the argument he’s trying to deflect attention back onto the players (let’s face it, how much attention does John Tortorella being a prick garner these days).

      Put it this way:

      Q: “Hey coach, is your team playing badly because of [excuse that is in fact extremely likely to be true]?”

      If Tortorella says yes then he is basically telling the media, fans and his players (indirectly) that the players are off the hook for now.

      If he says no, well.. he basically doesn’t have a leg to stand on there because it’s clear that conditioning is at the very least part of the problem.

      So with no other options he tries to make the question and the storyling go away by browbeating whoever brings it up.

  4. lonespeed - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    I’d like to see the Rangers acquire P.K. Subban and see what a dumpster fire it would be for Subban and Tortorella to be a part of the same organization.

    • elemeno89 - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:18 PM

      oh god that would be awesome. im actually hoping that happens now.

  5. lostpuppysyndrome - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Reactions like that would just make me want to push his buttons all the more. “With a performance like that, do you think it’s time to trade Lundqvist?” “In a nutshell, why are the Flyers a much better team than yours?” “Noticed here you won a Cup once. Do you think you might have a better chance of that if you coached a different team?”

  6. wranglerick - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Everybody is in the same boat, the lack of training camp and the proper time between games. He admitted on the fan last summer he has a hard time dealing with the press. He even admitted he knows he has to do a better job.
    That said, this is NY, it has a built in job. You gotta deal with the press. And remember one thing, if you win it all, you never have to pay for a meal again, and you’re the king

    • newyorkislanderfancentral - Jan 26, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      This is New York, it’s baseball’s town. Rags are invisible unless they are offending women win or lose. Deal with it.

  7. eyeh8goodell - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Mr. Napoleon Complex strikes again. Somebody needs to smack this midget.

  8. barkar942 - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    As a Ranger fan, the one person being missed the most right now is Brandon Prust.
    When the Rangers would be a little lifeless, as they have been for all but one period this season, Pruster would come out and start hitting which always would start the others adrenalin. Thus far, no one has stepped into that role (Asham may, but is hurt).
    Prust is one of those invaluable intangible players that they miss dearly right now.
    I don’t feel it is conditioning as much as it is a “spark” that is missing.

  9. misterchainbluelightning - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Yet again, Torts find a way to focus the attention on himself, and not his players, you all can yammer what you will, but he’s a solid coach and teacher. He is perfect for NY, many others would wilt under the lights.

    • eyeh8goodell - Jan 25, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      Is that what he was doing when he was ripping his players at his pressers after the first 2 games?

      • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 25, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        “Oh, you zip it, Doris! Rogers Hornsby was my manager, and he called me a talking pile of pigsht. And that was when my parents drove all the way down from Michigan to see me play the game. And did I cry? ”

        Coaches ripping into players has been a part of sport since someone decided coaches were needed. Nothing new

      • mp1131211 - Jan 25, 2013 at 5:43 PM

        Misterchainbluelightning: “at his pressers” was the point, I believe.

  10. whatthepuck2012 - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    He’s a great coach, and unfortunately a childish, immature, whiny prick.

  11. greenmtnboy31 - Jan 25, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Yep, I have to agree with Torts on this one. I’m not a Rangers fan, but that really is a dumb question. Now that we’ve acknowledged that, let’s just realize most of the questions these idiots come up with are stupid attempts to create some kind of controversy or story.

  12. jasol20 - Jan 25, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Unfortunately I think Tortorella is an excellent coach. And maybe you have to take some of the good with the bad, but he should be embarrassed at the way he handles the media. These are fair questions, often designed to give fans some further insight into a team they’ve watched and care about. He’s just disrespecting his own fans, and this treatment of the media is a tired act. He expects his players to grow and change, and he should be willing to do the same himself.

  13. puckdog - Jan 25, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    No doubt he’ll start focusing more on strength and conditioning given that it was a “dumb” question…

  14. rrino - Jan 25, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    I really want to like the Rangers but every time I see those blue and red uniforms it reminds me of Sean Avery doing his little monkey dance in front of Brodeur, then I hate the Rangers.

    • whatthepuck2012 - Jan 25, 2013 at 7:08 PM

      Oh man I had forgotten about that…

  15. mp1131211 - Jan 25, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Is there a reason why he even has press conferences? Is it required somehow? He obvious would much rather be doing something else.

  16. betrayedbylife - Jan 25, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    tortorella is hilarious.

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