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NHL EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: DEVILS v RANGERS


May 14, 2012


John Tortorella


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Game One

Rangers – 3
Devils – 0


Q. What went so right tonight?
COACH TORTORELLA: We just kept on playing. We stayed with it. 

Q. Nothing to say?
COACH TORTORELLA: No. 

Q. Ryan McDonagh kind of set the tone with two stops on what could have been clear breakaways, is he one of those guys you've been speaking about that you want to see what they do on the big stage and how does he respond to that big stage tonight?
COACH TORTORELLA: He played very well tonight. I'm not going to single out him. I mean, it's our whole team. But his skating ability certainly showed there and made a couple of big plays. 

Q. John, do you see Artem Anisimov gaining a better understanding of his responsibilities in the two-way game?
COACH TORTORELLA: Yeah, he's been doing pretty good. He's playing left wing on that line. He's done a fairly good job there. 

Q. Coach, with respect to Chris Kreider tonight, he got some sticks taken away at some point did he learn that they're not going to give you their sticks, you have to take them away. Is that the kind of mentality why if you let Chris come in right out of college to have the kind of game he had last night?
COACH TORTORELLA: I have no idea what you're talking about. He played good, though. He played a good game. 

Q. You just seem to be getting timely offense from your defensemen when you needed it. How huge has that been another one tonight to set the tone?
COACH TORTORELLA: It's important. Going into tonight, we have a couple of guys that are right there, as far as top defensemen, scoring and also defending. And these are tight checking games. To get some offense, some of your best defensemen defensively and the offense, it's important. And Dan (Girardi) has made some really big plays. Not just getting on the scoreboard, but big plays offensively right on through the playoffs here. 

Q. Why did you call the timeout when you did and what did you want to accomplish as a result?
COACH TORTORELLA: Tired. It's an icing call. And that's why he called it. I can't change the players on the icing rule. I can't change the players. 

Q. The other guy during the season that you spoke about that's going to be big during the playoffs was Fedotenko. Tonight he seemed to have a much stronger edge to his game. Is that what you want...
COACH TORTORELLA: Feds? He did a lot of little things tonight. And he's been very consistent as we've gone through here. 

Q. One sequence where Parise did a bang, bang, bang, three shots in a row. What does that do for the team when the Devils don't score.
COACH TORTORELLA: It was an important period for Hank. I thought the first period was kind of a feeling-out period. I thought Hank gave us a chance to stay there in the second. And then we found our way in the third. That was an important sequence. We worked off a puck, and Parise ends up with three great chances, Hank was really good in the second period. 

Q. Talk about that second period.
COACH TORTORELLA: We turned it over and we got sloppy. I thought we had chances to get it out. We didn't. And teams that are playing this time of year are going to try to capitalize. So some of it was them. Some of it was us, as far as we had two times it was right by the blue line, we don't get it out, and we're fortunate we don't get scarred there. 

Q. You talk about sticking with it and not changing much. So when you get out of that period 0-0 and go into the locker room, are you feeling good? Are you guys comfortable in that situation?
COACH TORTORELLA: We've been in these games all playoffs, with some of the experiences we've gone through. I have a tremendous amount of confidence in our conditioning, and, more importantly, in our mental makeup, as far as handling the situations. And I looked at our third period in Game 7. I thought it was probably one of our best periods, eliminate Washington, and I thought tonight's third period was a really good one also. 

Q. Coach, you pride yourself and your team's ability to consistently bounce back. But do you learn something tonight about Kreider that he can do it, too?
COACH TORTORELLA: Yeah, I think he's been responsible away from the puck, and he's been consistently understanding how we have to play. We want him to be instinctive. I think he's done a really good job of that as far as chasing down things, shooting a puck. Obviously a quick release tonight on his goal. He's played well. 

Q. You had two Game 7s, you go into the third period. A lot of people could have seen or would be tired, does it go back to training camp?
COACH TORTORELLA: I don't know where you guys get all this stuff being tired. If we're tired this time of the year, there's something the matter. We still have a month to play. You might as well not even ask me questions about being tired. We're not a tired hockey club. We are ready to play. So it seems like it's a lot of questions about that. You guys get the figures of the seven games and you don't win a Stanley Cup and all that… this club will be ready to play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports



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