On Henrik Lundqvist:
"He can taste it, he started thinking about that after we lost to Philly last year and how close we were," Tortorella said. "That's what I've always loved about him is how hard he competes. That's a huge trait he has. I think it filters to our team."
On Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals:
"It's not just him, we've got to be really careful about that. He's a top player in the league but there's a few others over there. We don't have a special remedy. You just have to be aware of where he's at and try to act accordingly and certainly not test the waters against him. Neutral zone play for both teams is going to be important."
On Marian Gaborik:
"I think Gabby cares. If there's one guy, it's a great situation for him. You need to have a short-term memory and move on. You're not defined by regular-season play as a player. You're defined as far as what you do in crucial situations and that's playoff hockey. I know Gabby's willing to grab a hold of this and try to help this club get where it wants to be. That'll go game to game, it'll go shift to shift for him. It has been a struggle for him, there's no hiding that. For players like that, it's going to be wide open for him. He's got to really look forward to it and express himself as a player and look forward to that."
On why Tortorella likes guys without playoff experience:
"The more guys with little playoff experience, the better, and there's not going to be a whole lot of explanation to them. Because it's innocence, they don't know. I think sometimes we all turn it into something bigger and add different pressures when we don't need to. I think innocence in approaching this is a good thing."
For more quotes from Torts click here.
For player quotes click here.
Jesse Spector at The Blueshirts Blog has more here.
I like Torts' attitude toward the young players in the playoffs - don't psych them out, just let them go out and play. I'm sure they're all perfectly aware of how big this is and trying to "warn" them about what playoff hockey is about will just get them focused on the wrong thing.
Everyone keeps saying that the youth are the core of our team, so its good to see the coaching staff just letting them be who they're gonna be and play the way they're gonna play, without trying to over-prepare them.
Even though it might have worked out well for him in Tampa, I'm not sure I agree with Torts and his preference of innocence to experience. That being said, they way that Step, Sauer and McD have played this year, they don't give the impression of guys who are easily intimidated by pressure situations.