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Tortorella takes blame for top players’ struggles

May 25, 2013, 9:07 PM EDT

tortsperturbedgetty Getty Images

New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella isn’t particularly prone to call out players.

He refused to do it with Rick Nash. Torts proudly professed his love for Brad Richards. The fiery coach wisely passed on critiquing Henrik Lundqvist.

Instead, it seems like he’s pointing the blame to himself.

After watching his team get bounced in Game 5 on Saturday, Tortorella told reporters such as ESPN’s Katie Strang that it’s his fault that the team’s top producers mostly fell flat. He went on to assess both the series and the Rangers’ disappointing season.

“They deserved to win the series. They were the better team,” Tortorella said. “I thought, this season, we struggled to get our personality, to get our identity.”

That identity part might just fall on Torts, though it remains to be seen if it costs him his job.

In case you’re wondering, Derick Brassard (12 points), Mats Zuccarello (seven points) and Carl Hagelin (six points) were the Rangers’ top playoff scorers while Rick Nash and Brad Richards combined for two goals (though Nash added four assists).

  1. floridagameshow - May 25, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    So apparently Torts did not call out Hagelin last week by saying he “sucked” on the power play. Hmmm. Short term memory issue.

  2. titansbro - May 25, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Hagelin might disagree with you.

  3. dabutcha114 - May 25, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    So long Torts! How about you suck.

  4. spavs412 - May 25, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    I don’t hate torts and the rangers fans didn’t either last yr when they had a legit cup chance!

  5. sportsfan69 - May 25, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Tortorella must go. Your welcome has been worn out. You and Brad Richards can now leave.

    Oh Brad Richards. NOW will be remembered as the BIGEST FREE AGENT SIGNING BUST IN NHL HISTORY. Who recommended him? Slow, old, and weak.

    This why the NHL had a lockout earlier this year. It’s because of players like Brad Richards.

    Applaud the NHL owners for standing their ground during the lockout.

    • johnstone17 - May 26, 2013 at 1:28 AM

      NHL owners were the ones giving out bad contracts. Blame a player for taking the money as if you wouldn’t.

    • freneticgarfieldfan - May 26, 2013 at 3:32 AM

      May I remind you of Bobby Holik, Scott Gomez, Wade Redden, Mats Sundin (in VAN), Rick di Pietro, Alexej Yashin, …
      There are countless other fascinating free agent signings, although quite some of them with the Rangers.

      • jimthebear - May 26, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        Wade Redden hasn’t been too bad for the Bruins, hurt right now, and we’re not paying him big $$.. He just needed the right role and salary I guess..

    • teaspoon1731 - May 26, 2013 at 5:59 AM

      You know, I disagree with saying Brad Richards was a bust too. The team needed an elder statesmen. They were full of youth and young leadership. You need an older guy to step in sometimes. Yeah, he didn’t have the speed or the stamina, and his offensive contributions definitely dwindled. But there are other things he brought to the team. I’m not saying it was an amazing signing, cus probably not worth that much money, but I wouldn’t call it a bust at all, let alone the biggest bust in history. That one lies somewhere between DiPietro and Bryz

    • atwatercrushesokoye - May 26, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      Glad he chose the Rangers over the Flames, we don’t need that albatross contract! Are Rangers fans finally willing to admit Nash isn’t a franchise player or even a superstar?

  6. sportsfan69 - May 25, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Bye, bye Tortorella.

  7. georgejarkko - May 25, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    I dislike Torts and hate the Rangers. However, I don’t believe that a new coach will improve this team. Their roster simply isn’t as good as Boston’s, and is certainly much worse than Pittsburgh’s.
    It’s a shame Richards seems to have peaked, but Nash and Lundqvist can’t be the only other star players on Broadway.

    • tdrusher225 - May 26, 2013 at 12:13 AM

      I’m a Bruins fan and I have to say that is just not true. The Rangers are solid up and down their lineup and are more than good enough to compete, especially when they’re fully healthy. What they need is to address their philosophy, which comes back to Tortorella. They have a plethora of offensive talent and they need to play in a system where their talents can be utilized better. That along with a very good defensive corps and a world-class goalie in Lundqvist is more than enough talent to be championship-worthy. What they need is a new voice and a change in mentality and they are not that far away.

  8. caps4cup - May 25, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    Suck it ranges. Caps deserved to win.

    • cheesesteak75 - May 25, 2013 at 10:50 PM

      But they didn’t! Again.

    • tfaltin - May 26, 2013 at 8:22 AM

      Still aren’t over it, are we? 5-0.

    • taintedlombardis - May 26, 2013 at 9:30 AM

      Refs extended the series, and the wrong team ended up winning. Good to see those losers eliminated. Other than their goalie, it’s not entertaining watching an AHL caliber team.

      • johnstone17 - May 26, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        Then your beloved Caps lost to a AHL caliber team. Whats that say about them?

    • jimthebear - May 26, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      As once said by the great Bill Parcells.. You are your record.. Caps lost, ergo not as good as the Rangers.. This comes from a guy who holds Adam Oates in the highest respect and was a B’s ticket holder when he played here.

  9. cspsrbums - May 25, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    Ranger worst team to ever make the playoffs

  10. 19to77 - May 25, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    They weren’t the better team, and they didn’t deserve to win the series. If those things were true, they would have been able to last longer than five games, and they wouldn’t have needed two blooper-reel screwups by the Bruins in game four just to make it to overtime. They were inferior in all ways and didn’t look to be in control of their opponent at any point. Torts is wrong about this like he’s wrong about everything.

    • jetsflyinghigh - May 26, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      He was referring to Boston being the better team in this series.

    • jimthebear - May 26, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Also, as much of a classless a–hat he is, he was showing a little class by not kicking the dead, meaning his own team.

  11. ironmike778 - May 25, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Worst coach in the league. You call that an offense? That was pathetic.

  12. capsfan19 - May 26, 2013 at 1:11 AM

    Hagelin is still under a bus.

  13. gettingpwned - May 26, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    2 things:
    1.) Please keeps Torts
    2.) At least they didn’t trade Gabby for no reason & get a bag of pucks for him. Wait, what?

    • tfaltin - May 26, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      Trade Gabby for no reason & get a bag of pucks for him? Did you watch the Rangers before or after the trade?

      Before: Gabby did not fit anywhere in the lineup (function of Torts because a bonafide 40 goal scorer can fit in any lineup)
      After: Derek Brassard, 25, was a point per game player in the regular and post-season. He led the Rangers in postseason points with 13, almost double the next player at 7 (Hagelin). John Moore played solid minutes on our defense as a former number first round draft pick.

      There are a number of reasons the Rangers dropped that series, namely that they didnt play as well as the Black and Gold, and none of those reasons are the Gaborik trade.

  14. dave56dj - May 26, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    19to77 you need to re read the qoute he’s speaking of the bruins

  15. teaspoon1731 - May 26, 2013 at 5:54 AM

    Torts should take the blame. The Rangers are a solid team top to bottom, but Torts micromanages. Oh, we’ve gone 3 minutes without something happening? Shuffle the lines!!

    He made the right call scratching Richards tonight, though he waited about give games too long to do it. Also, I understand wanting to get a physical game going, but the bad penalties taken by Dorsett in this series definitely did not help the Rangers.

    That being said, the youth and drive of the Bruin’s defense is a hard thing to contend with. The Rangers just didn’t have an answer for it. The Bruins deserved to win this series. The only game I had an issue with was Tuesday night, when the Rangers stepped on the ice, in MSG of all places, with absolutely no desire to play hockey. Other than that, they simply got out played.

  16. jacketsfan7 - May 26, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    He’s done , too long of a job just to suck in the playoffs

  17. DED - May 27, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Ok, Tortz, if you’re to blame, how do you fix it?

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