Friday, September 16, 2011

Camp Torturella

The Rangers training camp started today and all the beat writers were on hand at the Rangers training facility in Greenburgh, NY, to let us know who was using the barf bag. The infamous Tortorella "Test" - 3 laps repeated 6 times under the stopwatch was the crucible of today's practice. That is followed up with a timed two mile run. 

Anyone who has played high school football and gone through the brutal two-a-day workouts and training camp torture that demigod high school coaches subject their players to will feel no sympathy for these millionaire hockey players losing a few cookies.

The term "Torturella" should really be used when describing a John Tortorella press conference.

Anyway, here is a roundup of some items about training camp.

Rick Carpiniell had some early stuff from camp, which included an interview with the always interesting Brandon Prust:

He talked quite a bit about the league taking a hard look at fighting after the summer deaths of tough guys Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak.

“You might be talking to the wrong guy. I’m pro-fighter. So, I believe it should be in our game. I don’t think anything should be changed. That’s what makes our game unique, is that we can have the ability to police our own game. Obviously the league steps in if something gets out of hand, if there’s a dirty hit. But if somebody’s going after Gabby or Hank or Richie, that’s my job to get in there and make sure they don’t do that because those are our important players.

“There’s 20,000 people on their feet every time there’s a fight. It’sa tough job, but it’s a job I chose and I love doing it and I love sticking up for my teammates, and I love knowing that my teammates know that I’ll be there for them.”

“There’s always a middle ground. Like I said, it is a tough job. I definitely get a little nervous if I know I’m going to be fighting. Sometimes you might lose a little sleep. But, like I said, that’s my job. I chose it and I embrace it and I like that rush. At the same time, the biggest sport in the world right now is UFC and nobody’s really stopping that”...
Back in 2007 when Torts was at Tampa Bay, here are some thoughts the players had about his camp:
Desperate times call for desperate measures when it comes to the first two days of Lightning training camp.

Asked how to cope with the grueling fitness tests that at best will leave players gasping for air and at worst barfing up their breakfasts, defenseman Dan Boyle said, "Fake an injury."

Really, he said with a straight face, "Fake an injury."

"Yeah, pay someone to hurt you," chimed in defenseman Brad Lukowich, sitting at the next locker...
Andrew Gross of the Record/Rangers Rants says, tests once again live up to billing:
Brandon Dubinsky said the test is more mental than anything and that, despite the players training for it all summer, it’s harder on test day because the adrenaline is flowing. Dubinsky said it’s sometimes hard to know how to pace yourself during the test.

The main point, of course, is that Tortorella gets his players to train hard through the offseason knowing they have to start training camp this way...
Jesse Spector had some choice camp tweets:
Highlight of the #NYR day still coming when goalies do the #CampTorturella lap test in full gear.
Avery, Fedotenko, Prust and Newbury start things off. Clockwise laps. Tortorella screaming. Welcome to hockey season.
Jim Cerny of the Rangers posted a "Testing Quotebook":
You pretty much have to (arrive in top condition) or else you'll look pretty silly out there. I think the gameplan (with the testing) is that it gets everyone together in August to work and prepare for these (tests) and that way everyone is in shape. Teams coached by Torts are always in great shape. — Brad Richards
Cerny reported that Artem Anisimov and Michael Sauer were both sidelined today due to knee concerns. Anisimov is getting an MRI (came back negative) and Sauer is resting due to recent tendinitis in his knee.

Cerny also tweeted:
Torts says he wants Del Zotto to get the "swagger" back in his game "but the proper swagger"; believes MDZ "will have really good camp"
So we are are off and running on another season of Rangers hockey. Fantastic...

The Traverse City tournament was a nice diversion, but none of the Rangers prospects looked jig worthy.

Rangers / Traverse City Prospects Tournament

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