MONTREAL – Rangers head coach John Tortorella had every reason to provide another highlight-reel tirade following his team’s 6-0 blowout loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
For starters, it was New York’s second straight shutout loss and its fourth in the last seven games – sandwiched around two wins where the Rangers scored a combined 14 goals.
But Tortorella appeared determined to keep his name out of the headlines.
“I’m not going to dissect (the game) with you guys here,” Tortorella told reporters. “There are a number of things we need to correct and we’ll go back to work tomorrow.”
That was one of three times Tortorella said he would not “dissect’ the game, and on two other occasions he answered questions with a simple “Yes.”
It was the Rangers first game since Thursday’s 2-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, after which Tortorella had a highly-scrutinized run-in with a New York beat writer. That reporter was here Saturday, but did not ask a question.
Tortorella did take exception to a television reporter putting his microphone too close to his face, but it is something coaches often complain about when the media is jockeying for position.
The one analysis Tortorella allowed himself to make was his team’s careless play in the second period, when it allowed three goals on five shots in a span of 3:42 to give the Canadiens a 4-0 lead.
“I think we beat ourselves a couple of times where we had the puck,” Tortorella said. “We get a goal scored on just an icing play. But our spinning out in front of our net hurt us in a couple of situations there.”
If Tortorella was trying to hide his frustration, it was clearly evident in the Rangers dressing room. The white board used to write down the Canadiens line combinations appeared to take the brunt of the anger, sitting on the floor with three, stick-shaped cracks in it.
“It’s hard to put a finger on it,” said defenceman Dan Girardi, who was the guilty party on the blown icing play that resulted in Montreal’s third goal.
“It’s really tough for us to swallow. We had two great games against Montreal and Tampa Bay, but then to put up two doughnuts is tough to take.”