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Tortorella takes blame for top players’ struggles

May 25, 2013, 9:07 PM EDT

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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).

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