Larry Brooks of the New York Post recently caught up with New York Rangers bence boss John Tortorella to discuss a few things about his team. With the NHL Lockout reaching its 38th day, Torts has a few concerns about the Blueshirts.
On how the Lockout could affect the team whenever it ends…
“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."
On how Tortorella views his team in terms of talent and decision making…
“The quality of our core leadership and of our young guys is one of our greatest assets. There’s a reason I’ve said so many times that I really like and trust our team. It would be ignorant not to converse with the players to make sure that we get it right.
This isn’t going to be me making decisions independently. We’ll figure this out as a group. There’s too much in front of us not to approach it that way.”
Torts' thoughts on his players playing overseas and staying home…
“On one hand, I worry about the risk of injury — Rick already had the shoulder issue, which turned out to be minor — but on the other hand, I believe the guys who are playing games and competing will be sharper and better off when camp begins,” Tortorella said.
“I worry about our older guys like Richie [Brad Richards] and Rupper [Mike Rupp] who aren’t playing. It’s tough and they need to stay on top of it, because when we get into this, the best 20 guys are going to play on opening night,” he said."
… I'm sure every coach has the same worries as Torts does about their teams. But specifically with the Rangers, the injury concern is high when you look at how intensely the system the Rangers play, blocking shots etc. It's a delicate balance.
… Interesting that Torts is concerned about Richards coming into camp sharp. Maybe he knows something we don't—as in there won't be any hockey this season.