Originally posted on NY Rangers Blog  |  Last updated 5/31/12
John Tortorella made the rounds on New York sports radio yesterday and used the opportunity to go after critics of his shot blocking strategy in the media...

Here's what he said on ESPN Radio's Michael Kay Show yesterday...

"I think the people that are writing about us with our shot blocking ... I think they're idiots. I think they're disrespecting our players. I think they're disrespecting our team. We don't sit in our meetings and say forget about carrying the puck and trying to score a goal and make a play, let's just block shots all night long.

"Blocking shots is part of playing proper defense and we've got a couple of guys covering our team that don't get it. And that really upsets me. Not for myself, but for the players that do it. It's part of us. It's part of what these guys want to do."

Yesterday Philip Bondy at the Daily News wrote that the shot blocking Rangers will not be missed in the Stanley Cup Finals.

...good for Torts. While there's plenty to criticize him about, one thing you can never say is he doesn't stick up for his team. Whether it's Joe Thornton or the media he'll take on anyone disrespecting the Rangers. It's why I love him.

...and what an idiot this Bondy guy is. I guarantee you he didn't write a single column on the Rangers all year and now he's an expert after following them during the playoffs. Yeah, last night's Game 1 was so much more offensive without the Rangers with the combined three goals on less than 45 shots. At least there were fewer blocked shots though.

Torts went after blogs and Twitter as well...


...what a jerk, I hate him. lol

For Torts' full interview with Michael Kay, click here.

Tortorella was also a guest of Mike Francesa's at WFAN...



Tortorella wasn't the only person in the Rangers brain trust talking yesterday as Glen Sather discussed a number of things at the GM meetings in Manhattan including this on the trade deadline rumors involving Chris Kreider (via Daily News)...

"I didn't even say anybody asked for him. You did. I didn't say that. He’s gonna be a good player. And we don’t trade kids.”

...yeah, pretty much a given that after Kreider's playoff performance, he's not going to be a part of any deal for Rick Nash.

...not so sure I believe Sather when he says they don't trade kids, because if the right deal comes along for Nash, I think he pulls the trigger even if it includes a couple of top prospects (ie McIlrath or Miller).

On addressing needs, the Rangers GM noted...

“Well I would like to have a 60-goal scorer, I’d like to have a defenseman who can play 25 minutes and get 25 goals; I would like to have a goaltender that could be under one goal per game. I mean those are wish-lists that every team in this league would like to have. Realistically, there are some people that are gonna be available. But they’re not available until July 1. So you really can’t talk about any of those guys.”

...apparently Lundqvist's under two goals per game isn't good enough. lol

On Nash, Columbus GM Scott Howson admits he has spoken with him this offseason, but gave no other details.

Sather also noted that 14 Rangers will be visiting the doctor this offseason.

...never like to use injuries as an excuse, but that's a lot of banged up bodies.

***

Meanwhile the Devils lost to the Kings by the score of 2-1 in overtime in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals last night...

For more on the Rangers signing another top prospect and Pete DeBoer's thoughts on Mark Messier, click the "Read More" tab below.

***

For the second day in a row the Rangers signed a top prospect as they secured undrafted free agent Marek Hrivik to an entry level deal yesterday.

Hrivik signing an Amateur Tryout Agreement with the Connecticut Whale on March 30th then went out and led the team with five goals, while tying for the team lead with nine points during the playoffs.

Hrivik put together a strong season for Moncton in The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as he scored 29 goals and registered 70 points in 54 games before signing with the Whale.

Rangers assistant general manager Jeff Gorton said...

"He is a versatile guy who came to Connecticut at the end of the year and earned a contract. He has a good skill level, and a really good head for the game."

...the Rangers literally called Hrivik as he was on his way to the airport to go back to Slovakia for the summer. Talk about doing your homework on a guy. In Gordie We Trust.

***

Speaking of Rangers prospects, Hockey's Future ranks the Blueshirts organization 11th best in the NHL...

Strengths: The Rangers have a strong, diverse group of defensive prospects led by Tim Erixon, Dylan McIlrath, and Stu Bickel. Forwards Chris Kreider and Carl Hagelin are already contributing in a top-six capacity for the Rangers while J.T. Miller and Christian Thomas shouldn't be too far behind. The Blueshirts also have several players with long-term promise such as Michael St. Croix, Andrew Yogam, and Ryan Bourque.

Hockey's Future says a weakness in the Rangers organization is a lack of a power play quarterback.

...not easy to put a smile on Rangers fan faces right now, but this report should have everyone grinning from ear to ear.

***

I know the last thing you want to read on the blog are quotes from Devils coach Pete DeBoer, but he's got some interesting links to the Rangers including being best friends with Adam Graves (via New York Post)...

On the first time he saw the Stanley Cup...

"The first time I saw it firsthand. One of my best friends is Adam Graves. He had a Stanley Cup party the year [the Rangers] won in ’94 at his mother’s and father’s farm in Ontario, and I got to spend a day with it. It was an amazing day, and something you always dream about, having the opportunity to do something like that."

On working with Team Canada GM Mark Messier when he was a coach during 2010 World Championships...

"It was an incredible experience being around him for a month. Him and Craig MacTavish — Mac T was the coach — you had heard the legend of Mark Messier the leader, but to actually experience it, hear him speak and address the team was … sometimes the legend doesn’t live up to the billing. In this case, it exceeded it."

...maybe Torts should have had Messier address the team before Game 6.

H/T to reader Fleisch14.

***

And finally, there's this ridiculous Rangers tribute video past to present...



Remember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook or e-mail me at nyrfan94@yahoo.com.

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