Tortorella: We Sucked

No post-game reaction from last night’s 2-0 blanking at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers behind goals from first overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and former Ranger Corey Potter. Instead just a few quotes, with some general reaction sprinkled in throughout.

Coach John Tortorella was not at all pleased by his team’s performance last night, and had his first melt-down of the young season.

“This is going to be quick,” he said to the Rangers’ media corps. “I’m not taking any questions. We sucked from head to toe. And we need to move by it. So I’m not going to dissect it with you guys. I know you guys have to do your job, but I’m not answering any questions. Okay?”

It’s understandable. The Rangers fell into their hole of a very sub-par power play which has scored just one goal over the first six games of the season. The team finished with just 19 shots, something that is quickly becoming a problem as well early on. It’s difficult to score goals when you’re not putting many pucks on net. Off the top of my head, the game last week against the New York Islanders is the only game where they put up many shots.

Henrik Lundqvist left the game midway through the final period with what was believed to be an injury, perhaps cramping. Lundqvist, though, said it was just an equipment problem that has been nagging him for several days now, and that he’s fine.

“It was a terrible game by us,” said Brandon Dubinsky, who has still not scored a goal this season. “All night we didn’t win any battles for the puck, we didn’t play the way we need to play when we are successful and that’s really frustrating.”

Ryan Callahan agreed, and like any great captain, put blame on himself (which in this case is warranted). “It seems like when we do get in on the forecheck, we don’t get that second and third effort,” he said. “And that’s when you create opportunities. I need to be better. I’ve got to get in there on the forecheck and keep pucks down low. There’s no excuses.”

The one positive to take from tonight is that the duo of Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards– who’s five-game point streak was snapped- are still looking very good. Thus far in each game, Gaborik has been the Rangers’ best offensive player, which is good news for the Blueshirts. 

Simply put, they have to start putting more shots on net. 19 shots against over 60 minutes is embarrassing, and hopefully they can rectify that. The Dubinsky, Callahan and Artem Anisimov line has to wake up. Between the three of them, there is one goal, which came in first game of the season.

This defense is still hurting with the loss of Marc Staal and Michael Sauer, who appears to be pretty close to playing. Staal, though, won’t see ice for quite a while.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia

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