Penguins notebook: Tortorella still confident in struggling Rangers
Rangers coach John Tortorella, whose postgame news conferences have been more contentious as his team has struggled this season, was in a gracious mood following Friday's practice at Consol Energy Center.
The coach seemed to be optimistic that his team was about to turn a corner, even though it lost 24 hours earlier in Winnipeg and was preparing to face a Penguins team that has won seven straight.
“I'm not down on the team,” he said. “The worst thing you can do right now … is to starting panicking and start saying, ‘What's going on with this club?' ”
The Rangers are ninth in the Eastern Conference, a significant surprise given they were considered an elite team when the season started.
“We're the only ones who need to worry about it,” he said. “Not you guys (the media). We need to worry about how we're playing. And that's what we're going to do.”
As long as his team remains psychologically sound, Tortorella believes the Rangers will eventually reach their potential.
“The most important thing is our mindset,” he said. “We can't talk ourselves into a mess.”
• The Penguins will be without center Evgeni Malkin against the Rangers on Saturday. It would also seem unlikely Malkin will play Sunday against the Bruins. Malkin, however, is continuing to see his health improve after sustaining a shoulder injury seven days ago in Toronto. He skated with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar before practice Friday. Malkin has skated multiple times this week with no reported problems.
• This will mark the first time local product J.T. Miller will play against the team he grew up rooting for. Miller, the Rangers' first-round pick in 2011, has become a regular in his rookie season. The Coraopolis native said he will have 35-40 friends and family members at Consol Energy Center on Saturday. Adapting to New York City has been interesting for Miller, who was born in East Palestine, Ohio. “It's pretty crazy for me,” he said. “My hometown is half the size of Central Park.”
• Former Penguins right wing Arron Asham has not played in a month because of a back injury, and it remains unknown if he will be able to play Saturday against his old team. Asham signed a $2 million, two-year contract with the Rangers last season.
— Josh Yohe
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: Malkin clicking on power play
- Penguins notebook: Winning home games crucial for Penguins
- Penguins notebook: Bennett to miss about 2 weeks
- Penguins GM prepares for emotional series against Carolina
- Comeau’s hat trick leads Penguins; Crosby reaches 800 career points
- Penguins notebook: Penguins getting fewer power-play opportunities
- Penguins notebook: Johnston calls Quinn ‘phenomenal’ coach, person
- Penguins notebook: Bennett status remains fluid
- Penguins’ Scuderi, Despres an odd couple on defense
- Ehrhoff finding his way with Penguins
- Penguins minor league notebook: Pouliot impresses early in season