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May 20, 2012

John Tortorella


Q.  Do you feel you guys have been easing into the games a little too much, just first period seems a little off?
COACH TORTORELLA:  Certainly not by design.

Q.  Are there other things that you need to do?
COACH TORTORELLA:  Try to have a better start.  I don't know what else to say to you.

Q.  Is your goaltender on a hot streak right now even by his own high standards?
COACH TORTORELLA:¬† Is our goaltender‑ say it again.

Q.  Is your goaltender on a hot streak right now even by his own high standards?
COACH TORTORELLA:  Our goaltender is growing and growing as a player and a person.

Q.  How important is it to get offense from your blue line (indiscernible)?
COACH TORTORELLA:¬† Oh, it's very important.¬† Goals are tough to come by throughout the Playoffs here.¬† And if you're getting some from your back end, I think we're 1‑2 there right now.¬† Danny with three game winners it's certainly helping.
We're hoping to get other guys going, but until then that's part of the offense.  That's a big part of the offense in the National Hockey League.

Q.¬† After you spoke last night, DeBoer talked about‑
COACH TORTORELLA:  The head shot.

Q.¬† Called it a headhunting‑

Q.  Do you have anything to say about that?
COACH TORTORELLA:¬† Prust has played probably 300‑plus games without any hearing, anything going on with him.¬† He's probably one of the most honest players.¬† I look at Zubrus' elbow to Stralman.¬† I look at Parise launching himself at Del Zotto.¬† Maybe if our players stayed down on the ice, we'll get something.
We tell our players don't stay down on the ice.¬† Get up.¬† I hope‑ I'll leave it at that.¬† Picking on the power play, set plays, picking on the power play.¬† If we want to start discussing officials with the media, I have a long list here.¬† That's a set play by Jersey.¬† Picking so we can't get to Kovalchuk to block a shot.
So you want some more?

Q.  Sure.  (Laughter).

Q.  If in fact he does get a suspension, do you want someone that's his type of a player in the lineup?
COACH TORTORELLA:  I don't know what I'm going to with the lineup.  I don't think he should be suspended.  So I really haven't gone that far, because I don't think he should be.

Q.¬† This will be I guess the seventh time you guys are going to try to get the two‑game lead in this is postseason.¬† I mean, obviously the teams you're playing are good.¬† Is there a sense of urgency that these other teams are‑ that they have an edge in that?
COACH TORTORELLA:  No, no.  We're always urgent.  It's Playoffs.

Q.  At the risk of whatever, do you think that's what your lineup is complaining about on the Kovalchuk power play goal?

Q.¬† Girardi was on you on Game 2‑
COACH TORTORELLA:  Game 2 it happened and in Cally.  I brought this up already.  It's a set play, because they know we're trying to block shots from a pretty good shooter by them.  So it happened to Danny.  It happened to Cally.  I hope we look for it.  So there's some games and shit right there, huh?

Q.  What does home advantage mean to you, to the team?
COACH TORTORELLA:¬† I've said it right along; that it just doesn't mean‑ to me, my opinion, and I know you guys have other opinions, it doesn't mean a whole hell of a lot until it comes to Game 7.¬† So we don't prepare any differently, home or away.¬† We're just trying to be as best as we can be.

Q.  When you had the decision to go with four defensemen on the power play, is that because you think it's your best power play look right now or is there something about defense that you...
COACH TORTORELLA:  No, I think it's our best look.  I think with the way sometimes we're trying to get the setups, it really doesn't matter who was on the point.  Eventually like Ritchie will play really both of them.  He'll be up front, but he'll end up being on the point at certain times within it.
But we know they score quite a few (indiscernible) they use their top players to do that.  But as far as what we're doing right now, it's what we think is the best luck.

Q.¬† How much of the offensive zone structure (indiscernible) put a percentage on it.¬† Do you think that Kreider fully understands right now?¬† How much is he comfortable‑ how much is this just pure skills that he's ad‑libbing?
COACH TORTORELLA:  He's instinctive.  The puck follows him.  I think his legs get him where he wants to be as far as getting to pucks.  And we're not doing a lot of teaching and a lot of structure with him.  It's just the wrong time.  There's enough things going through his head where we just want him to play.  He's had some breakdowns away from the puck.  Those are things we've tried to teach a little bit but not too much.
But this is instinctive.  He's an instinctive player.  We're just trying to let him go.

Q.  Did you stress to the guys the opportunity in front of them on Monday to really grab hold of this series rather than let them back in?
COACH TORTORELLA:  I don't stress anything.  They know it.

Q.  Was it a hard decision for you?  Instinctive is not necessarily what you love to have going on out on the ice.  Was it the decision to let him go?
COACH TORTORELLA:¬† That's where you box me in the wrong way.¬† I think offensively we try‑ we try to get out of their way.¬† Now, the teaching away from the puck, sure, we want to teach them.¬† But this is not‑ I mean, it's not like we're not showing them a couple of clips here and there as far as play away from the puck.¬† We just don't want to give them too much, because we just‑ we do, we want to allow him to play.
Offensively, we really don't get too much in the offense at all.  They need to be instinctive.  I hope some of our instinctive guys allow themselves to play a little bit more now as we go into our next game.  But away from the puck it's little by little.  We're certainly not at the mode we would be at regular season, I guess that's what I'm saying, away from the puck.

Q.  The goals right now, tremendous amount considering the circumstances.  If he was more seasoned, do you think could he have doubled that in these Playoffs?
COACH TORTORELLA:  Maybe if he's more seasoned, he's coached, we might screw him up.  I don't know how to look at it.  Right now he's doing some good things for us, and we're going to leave him the hell alone.

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