Rangers coach John Tortorella grew up around these parts. He went to high school at Concord-Carlisle and played college hockey at Maine. Now the Rangers’ head coach is back in New England to coach against the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals, so how does he —
“Don’t ask me questions about me,” Tortorella said. “Ask me about the team, please.”
And we’re off.
Tortorella is known for his unusual dealings with the media. Like Bill Belichick , he doesn’t have much interest in divulging information or patience for questions he doesn’t like, but unlike Belichick, he can be confrontational about it. That’s not a knock on him; it’s just the way he is with the media.
On Thursday, Claude Julien ‘s press conference concluded with Channel 7’s Rhett Lewis asking if the Boston coach had any pointers for getting reporters to answer their questions.
“I’m sure he’s excited about answering your questions,” Juien said with a grin. “Good luck, guys!”
And then Julien, almost in drop-the-mic fashion, got up and left. Then Tortorella came in, and things weren’t so funny.
On both Wednesday and Thursday, Julien had some nice words for Tortorella, saying Thursday that even though he didn’t plan on talking to him during the series, he can appreciate him as a coach.
“I certainly respect him for what he’s done and who he is,” Julien said. “He has his own personality and I’m one of those people that respect people for who they are. I’ve had some good chats with John in the past.”
Tortorella didn’t exactly return the favor.
“I’m not going to talk about him,” he said. “I’ll talk about the Rangers.”
“I don’t coach him,” he said. “I’ll answer questions about the Rangers.”
Tortorella was then asked about getting more zone time on the power play as the Rangers’ first-round series against the Capitals went on. The Rangers were 2-for-28 on the man advantage against the Capitals over the seven-game series.
“Eh, it still wasn’t good,” Tortorella said of the power play.
The Rangers’ coach isn’t a man of many words, but this will certainly be an interesting series with him around.