So far this NHL season every visiting coach coming to Winnipeg has talked about the excitement of the Jets being back in the league and how good it feels.
Not New York Rangers coach John Tortorella.
Tortorella was asked about the Jets return this morning after the Rangers did a quick skate in preparation for tonight’s game against Winnipeg.
“Nope. I have no comment,” the coach said briskly. “I’m just worried about our team.”
Tortorella still seemed to be smarting from his team’s performance in Edmonton Saturday, where the Rangers lost 2-0. After that game he said his players “stunk from head to toe” and walked away without taking any questions from reporters.
He took a handful of questions Monday, but didn't have much to say.
What did he know about the Jets? “Not much. I don’t really care just. I’m concerned about our club and trying to find our way.”
Any thoughts on the Ranger power play, which is the worst in the league?. “I’m not going to dissect it with you. I want us to just work it out within the room here.”
Any comments on the Rangers’ 2-2-2 start? “We’re trying to find our way.”
Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel expressed some concern about New York’s frame of mind and how it could motivate the team.
“I think New York is probably not real happy,” said Noel referring to New York's seven game road trip to start the season. “They’ve been on the road for a while so they’ll be coming in here trying to get a win.”
Monday's game will feature a matchup between two back up goalies - Martin Biron for the Rangers and Chris Mason for the Jets.
Mason entered Saturday’s game against Carolina in the first period when Noel pulled Ondrej Pavelec, after he gave up two quick goals. Mason "played well for us,” Noel said. “We’re going to give him another opportunity tonight.”
Biron played for part of the third period in Edmonton after Ranger starter Henrik Lundqvist ran into trouble with a skate that caused his foot to hurt. Lundqvist had started the last 37 games for New York, dating back to February, and he has been outstanding this season with one of the best goals against averages in the league.
Tortorella indicated today that Lundqvist is fine and that his plan had always been to start Biron.
“It’s been a while, it’s fun, it’s exciting,” said Biron who was also hurt late last season. “This is a big road trip for us.”
Unlike his coach, Biron, who is from Lac-Saint-Charles, Que., did express enthusiasm for Winnipeg’s return to the NHL.
“Everybody is happy to see a franchise having support like that and really thriving,” he said. “I think it’s fun for everybody, not just the Canadian guys