Torts: Sometimes You Have To Get Kicked in the Teeth

In an exclusive interview with Stan Fischler at, John Tortorella discussed the lessons his Rangers players should learn from the devastating Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Devils last season…

“Going into training camp I want the players to realize how close they came. But sometimes you have to get kicked in the teeth before you make it to the top.”

…every great team has to taste heartbreak in order to learn how to win. I hate to use the Devils as an example, but look what happened after the demoralizing Game 7 loss to the Rangers in 1994.

Tortorella also touched on losing the hard working Brandon Prust…

“To a certain extent I didn’t want to lose Pruster; he played hard for us. But what happens is that when a club is successful other teams go after the guys who made that team a winner.”

…no choice with Prust. Montreal way overpaid for him. I love Prust but he’s not worth $2.5 million per year.

…i also feel Sather adequately filled his role with the Asham, Haley, Pyatt and Halpern signings.

For more from Tortorella, keep reading after the jump.

Torts also expressed that he needs to get Mike Rupp on the ice more this season…

“Rupp will have a much better year. He needs to be on the ice for nine, ten, eleven minutes a game and I’ve got to find him that playing time.”

…as Adam posted the other day, Rupp struggled with a knee injury all last season, so I’ve got to agree with Torts that, if healthy, Rupp is in line for a comeback season.

Torts also expressed his pleasure with Glen Sather for keeping the Rangers youthful foundation intact and that Mike Sullivan, who Torts says means everything to the Blueshirts, will be back for another year.

…not so sure many Rangers fans are as excited about Sullivan’s return as Torts is after another abysmal season on the power play. Let’s hope Nash makes Sullivan look like a genius this year.

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