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

Preachers rail at NYPD at Eric Garner's funeral

Preacher after preacher stepped up to the pulpit at a sweltering Brooklyn church on Wednesday to express fury at the city's police force during the funeral of Eric Garner, who…

Local

Newark schools probed after claims of race discrimination

The U.S. Department of Education said on Wednesday it was investigating complaints that a plan to reorganize public schools in Newark, New Jersey, discriminates against black students.

National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…