If there is one thing die-hard New York Rangers fan know about their favorite team, it's how much they prepare for the season together as chemistry is essential for head coach John Tortorella's system to be effective.
The NHL lockout has Tortorella concerned on his scheme.
“To be quite honest, it worries me,” Tortorella said. “When our guys report to camp in September under normal circumstances, they have a physical and mental edge from preparing for our testing that’s extremely important to the way we go about our business as a hockey club.
“There’s a mindset from this group, a mindset from the New York Rangers that defines us and factors into everything we do,” he said. “And I know the guys are trying their best to stay at it, but it worries me that they’ve lost that mindset.
Another cause for concern with this team is any possible injury. Tortorella wants his squad to play a blue collar style, something they do very effectively. The team led the NHL in blocked shots last season, making life easier on goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
What Tortorella worries about with a shortened season is that he needs to cram three weeks of training camp into one. He said he doesn't want to push his team too hard as that increases the chance of an injury.
“On one hand, I worry about the risk of injury — Rick already had the shoulder issue, which turned out to be minor — but on the other hand, I believe the guys who are playing games and competing will be sharper and better off when camp begins,” Tortorella said.
“I worry about our older guys like Richie [Brad Richards] and Rupper [Mike Rupp] who aren’t playing. It’s tough and they need to stay on top of it, because when we get into this, the best 20 guys are going to play on opening night,” he said.
Although some guys are playing, the fact that they aren't playing together as one unit will likely have a Ranger squad that stresses working together start slow if a shortened season does happen.
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