Rangers Notebook: Tortorella refuses to call season a failure

John Tortorella has a new team post-deadline. Credit: Getty Images
Head coach John Tortorella feels his team took a step “sideways” not backwards.
Credit: Getty Images

A season that began with Stanley Cup aspirations ended five games into a second-round series.

And while the knee-jerk reaction both inside and outside the organization might be to call the 2013 campaign a setback, head coach John Tortorella does not agree.

“I don’t buy it,” Tortorella said. “I don’t buy it. I won’t. There is some good things that happened. ”

During his final press conference of the season, Tortorella pointed to a number of reasons why the organization should feel good about the future.

“We played really well our last couple months [of the regular season] to get in [the playoffs]. [We] found a way to win a big series against Washington, and against Boston I thought we competed right to the end,” Tortorella said.

He also pointed to the play of Derek Brassard in Game 4 of the Bruins series, and John Moore’s play following the Apr. 3 trade deadline deal.

“I don’t think we took a step backwards,” Tortorella said. “I think this is a sideways step.”

During the series against Boston, Tortorella cryptically hinted about adjustments needing to be made off the ice.

He clarified his viewpoint on Monday.

“I think one of the things, and it falls on my shoulders, is our team’s mindset going into another round, after both teams played an emotional Game 7 — Boston and the Rangers. I don’t think our mindset was ready for another series, and to the level you need to be at,” Tortorella said.

“That’s where I struggle with right now. I didn’t do a good enough job correcting and getting their mindset back to not only play at the level of Game 7 in the first round but get ready for round two, which is always going to be tougher.”

Why did the mindset level off between the first and second rounds?

“[I think] it’s an emotional thing,” Tortorella said. “You win the last two games of a first-round series, you play an emotional Game 7, you win it and within a couple days, you’re playing another series. It’s not a Game 7, it’s a Game 1. That’s what I’m talking about. I thought we did enough but as I watched us play, it wasn’t enough. As I told you all, the biggest part of my job is that — how you handle your top players to get them to play and that falls on my shoulders.”

Coming back?

To a man, the players who are free agents this summer spoke emphatically about wanting to return.

“I want to be here for sure,” Derek Stepan said. “They’ve treated me so nicely.”

Injury updates

Defensemen Marc Staal and Anton Stralman offered diagnoses of the injuries they suffered. Staal said he had a tear in the eye that was struck by a Kimmo Timonen shot and it forced him to “constantly” change “medications and eye drops.” He added the seriousness of the injury will force him to have to wear a visor in order “to protect the other eye.”

Stralman suffered facial fractures and a separated shoulder due to a Milan Lucic hit in Game 3. The defenseman said “the shoulder kept” him “out.” Had he received clearance to play, he would have had to wear a full-face shield.

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Boston University coach resigns amid bullying allegations

Boston University women's basketball head coach Kelly Greenberg has stepped down after allegations that she abused and bullied players.

International

PHOTOS: Places to visit on Shakespeare's 450th birthday

William Shakespeare would celebrate his 450th birthday on Wednesday, and England's greatest playwright let his imagination roam as widely as his characters.

Local

Reddit AMA: Mayor Marty Walsh to host 'ask…

Mayor Marty Walsh, who is making his technological mark on the mayor's office, will participate in a Reddit 'ask me anything' chat on Thursday.

Local

Harvard student flees attack in Somerville near Porter…

A Harvard student was walking near Porter Square when she was grabbed by a man who pulled her into an alleyway on the border of Somerville and Cambridge.

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

Books

'#GIRLBOSS': Nasty Gal CEO shares unlikely success story

Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso shares her rags to riches, dumpster to Porsche tale in her new book "#GIRLBOSS."

Movies

App Appeal: Unf— Your Habitat is a sweary…

Guilt trip yourself into some spring cleaning with the app "Unf— Your Habitat," which uses swearing and some rudeness to get you to get your s— together.

Movies

Review: 'The Other Woman' needs to be angrier,…

Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton play women who team up to destroy the man they're all unwittingly sleeping with in "The Other Woman."

MLB

MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 9-3

Jon Lester allows eight runs in 4 2/3 innings taking loss

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

Sports

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins…

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins men's race

Education

The benefits and challenges of intensive summer programs

Get the facts on taking an advanced college course.

Wellbeing

Why you need a facial

What can a facial do for your face that a washcloth and soap can’t?

Wellbeing

You can have your healthy snacks delivered

To take the guesswork out of procuring snacks good for you and your family, check out one of these companies.

Wellbeing

Jillian Michaels wants to ‘Maximize Your Life’

The fitness star returns for her second “Maximize Your Life Tour.”