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"The Process"

Prior to the lockout, John Tortorella was asked about where, as an organization, he felt the Rangers were. Tortorella talked about how the goal last season was to get out of the mode of fighting for a playoff spot and instead going after home ice advantage in the first round.

Tortorella, who always preaches one day at a time, said that the Rangers still have steps to take to get where they need to be.

Marc Staal told the Daily News that he feels the team is ready to make a run at the ultimate prize. "With what we did last year in the playoffs, the guys we have coming back, the guys we added, there is a real excitement. Instead of talking about making the top five in the conference and getting into the playoffs, now we're talking about making a run for it and winning it. So it's unfortunate that we're in this position, and hopefully it ends soon."

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Before last season many Rangers, including Brian Boyle, said that they thought the Rangers had a team capable of finishing in the top four and claiming home ice in the first round.

Boyle said, "I think we have the team that can be and should be a top-four seed instead of being the fight somewhere between sixth and ninth.?

During the Q&A that John Tortorella held with fans at the Rangers Dog Walk, provided by the team, the Rangers coach noted that the team still needs to take the necessary steps to get where they need to be.

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?You always hear coaches say we need to go on the road to get the camaraderie. I think that home or away or wherever we?re at, I think it?s a tight group. I don?t think there have been a lot of changes with our club from last year. We?ve been on the road quite a bit. It gives us a chance to get together, but having said that, I think they?re tight anyway. As I?ve said right along, I like the hockey club. We have a lot of work to do to get where we want to be, but I like the hockey team.?

Daily News

Tags: "The Process", Adam Rotter
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It's been rough here the first nine games, but we're confident we have the group to play this year. It's really a bunch of little things that have hurt us, so I believe we just need to do the simple things better. We are staying upbeat and positive, and we believe in each other.

Dan Girardi to Blueshirts United

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We like the direction the team has gone in the last couple of years. We added some strong pieces to the group. And of course, when you have a goalie likeHenrik Lundqvist, you?re always in the game. We feel pretty good.

NY Times

Tags: Mark Messier Job, "The Process", Adam Rotter
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On the postgame show on MSG last night, John Tortorella came out of the Rangers dressing room and told reporters that he wasn't going to take questions and dissect the game with them.

He did give one quote and say "we sucked from head to toe and we need to move by it"

That won't buy him any sympathy from reporters, who need his quotes to do their job, but I found it to be hilarious. I also think that this is Torts getting proactive and not letting a bad game lead to another embarrassing situation where he is arguing with reporters after a loss.

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?I read a Mark Messier quote a while back where he mentioned that you don?t focus so much on goals and assists, but just do whatever it takes to win. That?s the mentality of this program ? we all want to win here. We all appreciate a blocked shot as much as a goal. So for me, it?s just doing whatever it takes to help our team win, to be an effective player night in, night out.?

Chris Kreider to College Hockey News

The kid gets it. I know that most of you are upset that he stayed in school and wish he was on the team now, but I am pretty sure that the wait will be worth it

More on Kreider from The Fourth Period

Tags: Chris Kreider, Mark Messier, "The Process", Adam Rotter
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[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/MurphOnIce/status/122773194741526529"]

As much fun as the trip probably was, it has to be good for them to be home. They are off to today but get right back to work tomorrow to start correcting what was wrong and have a good solid week of practice before their next game. They only had two real days of practice before playing LA and Anaheim and should be able to develop some chemistry and work towards creating more this week.

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At Pro Hockey Talk, James wonders how much better the Rangers will be than they were last season.

He questions how healthy Richards and Gaborik will be and whether they will even be able to develop chemistry.

He also wonders how players like Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky will play after getting new contracts.

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In the Daily News, Ryan Callahan talks about how it is time for the Rangers to take the next step as an organization and not only get above seventh and eighth place, but go for a spot in the top four and have home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The Rangers last had home ice in the playoffs during 1995-96.

As an eighth place team last season, the Rangers had 93 points. The Penguins finished fourth and had 106.

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As training camp was starting last month, John Tortorella remarked that he wanted to infuse more young players into the Rangers lineup for this season.

While Tortorella said he would be disappointed if no young players made it, he said that he wouldn't force feed a young players into the lineup.

At Newsday, Steve Zipay writes that the Rangers infusion of young players into the lineup has been put on hold after players like Tim Erixon, Carl Hagelin and Ryan Bourque were sent to the minors.

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[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/thenyrangers/status/118006087403323392"]

and John Tortorella doesn't and neither do we. One of the steps that the Rangers really need to take this season is to secure a spot in the top six and do it before the last few days of the season. That will be progress and keep the team on the right track.

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Tortorella first barked at rookie defenseman?Dylan McIlrath?for not being crisp enough with his passes during a 2-on-0 drill. Roughly 60 seconds later, he stopped practice so he could scold his entire club. He emphatically told the players they better start concentrating and focusing on everything they're doing, because the real stuff is coming soon and they're not good enough to coast once the regular season begins.

Before letting the players head to the showers, Tortorella gave one more impassioned speech about the need to be better, and about how being a good team stuck in seventh, eighth or ninth place in the Eastern Conference all season is not nearly good enough.

Dan Rosen of NHL.com

I love Torts

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[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/NYDNRangers/status/115825673263779840"]

More on this at the NY Post.

Winning record at home, at least the second round of the playoffs and locking up a playoff spot before the last few days of the season. Those are my goals for the team and definitely goals that they can achieve. Hank is ultra competitive so I hope he sets some nice goals that he will no doubt reach.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist, "The Process", Adam Rotter
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I?m excited that Ryan Callahan is the captain of the team. He is one of us. He has gone through the system; been drafted on through and now he?s turned into this. It?s a great example and I think the players really come together with that when you get to your National Hockey League team, the top team in your organization.?

John Tortorella to Carp at Rangers Report

Cally sets an example of the kind of player that the Rangers want on the ice, off the ice and everywhere in between. He worked his way through the system and worked his way into having the role that he does. The homegrown talent on the Rangers is really a great thing and definitely a source of pride for people like John Tortorella and Gordie Clark.

Tags: Ryan Callahan, "The Process", Adam Rotter
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[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/AGrossRecord/status/115135817378308096"]

I see the spots on defense, third pair, being open and possibly one forward spot on the third line, though I wouldn't be surprised to see all of the forwards on the roster already take those spots. Tim Erixon is likely to make the team and Michael Del Zotto should probably count as a kid as well since he is only 21. Up front Carl Hagelin and Ryan Bourque will battle for a spot with Sean Avery, Erik Christensen and Mats Zuccarello. I would put those three ahead of Bourque and Hagelin, but I could see one, or maybe both, getting chances later in the season.

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John Tortorella told Larry Brooks in the NY Post that while he believes the Rangers are a better team, he isn't ready to put the pressure on of calling them Stanley Cup contenders.

"I think we're where we want to be as an organization," the coach said. "But I'm not going into this putting pressure on the team by stating that we're Cup contenders.
Many Rangers have been talking very highly of their chances for this season.

I am with Torts on this. There are still steps to take before the Rangers can really, in my opinion, challenge for a top spot in the East and the Stanley Cup. They are going about it the right way with their young players and adding in, hopefully, the right pieces, but you don't go from losing in five games in the first round to winning the Stanley Cup. This season, to me, is all about establishing a real presence in the Eastern Conference. It is about locking up a playoff spot before the last day of the season. It is about continued growth of players like Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Sauer, Derek Stepan, Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and Ryan Callahan, among others. Maybe most importantly, this season needs to be about making Madison Square Garden a home ice advantage again and making noise in the playoffs. Steps still need to be taken, but if they can get all of that done this season, they could be on their way towards being contenders next season.

Tags: "The Process", Adam Rotter
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[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/wyshynski/status/113269506478047232"]

It feels good to have players that fans of other teams want.

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"It's going to be back to the old days again, but I've won with him and know that it works," Richards told ESPN.com during the NHL's annual Player Media Tour on Thursday. "Not sure every day will be great and rosy, but in the end, I know that when everybody buys in with what he's doing and trying to do, it's a good culture to be involved in."

Scott Burnside at ESPN

With a returning group of players, and only two, maybe three new ones, the players have already bought in. Mike Rupp is an awesome guy and Richie has played under him before so there won't be any issues there. When you have a guy like Ryan Callahan setting the tone for how guys are supposed to play, and you have guys like Ruslan Fedotenko and Richie who have seen this work with Torts before, it's very exciting to think what could be close to happening.

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"We have gone along slowly building our club not only with quality personnel," explained Tortorella, "but also with a specific mind-set. After three full seasons, I can say that the players are more comfortable with what we -- the coaches -- want to do and the coaches understand the players."

John Tortorella to Stan Fischler at MSG

I think that is one of the most important things and a reason why the Rangers were successful and overachieved for a lot of last season.

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?It?s an important day for us because I think it?s a day where you have an opportunity to improve your team. See, I think we?re in a situation with our club right now where, the past couple of years, we?ve kept our assets. We?ve developed our assets and stayed with it here. And there?s a point in time where you?ve got to say, ?OK, they?re growing; we have a good solid foundation,? Now you start looking at other areas where you add, maybe from outside the organization?free agency, a trade, whatever it may be.

?I think we?re there. I really like the way Glen has stayed with it as far as allowing us, with our kids, to grow. And I think we have a really strong foundation. So we?re at, I think, ?a different stage of the process. And July 1 certainly comes into play.?

Rangers Report

You come away from? every July 1 thinking that you have improved your team. The Rangers thought they had when they brought in Scotty Gomez and Chris Drury four years ago today. As Torts says, the team is heading in the right direction with an excellent group of players, and they need to add someone who can help them take that next step. The next step isn't the Stanley Cup, the next step is securing a playoff spot before the last day of the season. They need to be comfortably in the playoffs and from there, they can start to challenge for the division, the conference and then the Cup. A bad decision may set them back, not take them off the tracks, but a good pickup could send the Rangers on their way.

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You have to be willing and patient to let these kids grow and mature and make mistakes, and not try to accelerate the process, because if you do, you wind up making mistakes that can cost you for years down the road. We?ve done well, we made the playoffs this year with a tremendous amount of adversity and injury, and unfortunately lost in the first round, but I think the Rangers are definitely going the right way as far as building a team.?

Messier before Game Three In Boston

I am guessing that John Tortorella has made his vision known of how the team should be developed and he has Mark Messier on his team. I am as well and we have seen in the past on how rushing players can be detrimental to their development. I trust the Rangers management and coaches to make the right decisions with players and develop them accordingly.
Tags: Mark Messier, Mark Messier Job, "The Process", Adam Rotter
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?We?re still in a process. So we just keep on going. We try to get better. I think there?s areas on our team where we need to get better. So we continue to build.?

John Tortorella to Carp at Rangers Report

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We?ve had a really good year. We have 43 wins. In the past five or six weeks, we?ve gone into San Jose and beaten them. We?ve gone into Pittsburgh, they opened the door with some undiscipline, we beat them. We?ve beaten Boston twice. We?ve beaten Philly twice. We?ve played some clunkers, but we?re a good hockey club. It?s not about correcting out in practice right now. It?s not about (video) tape work. It?s about how you feel about yourself as a player and as a group. And again, I am confident that these guys will recapture themselves, will feel good about themselves and play a really good game tomorrow.?

John Tortorella to Carp at Rangers Report

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?It?s not going to be the kids,? John Tortorella said. ?I?ll tell you that right now. None of the kids are coming out. I?m not concerned (about how Drury fits in). That was a question when Gabby came back in and I think he?s being more engaged in the style we?re trying to play ? I don?t think it?s going to effect us. This is our captain coming back in, Chris Drury. Everybody wants him back in. Someone?s going to have to suffer, someone?s going to have to sit out. It?s not going to be a kid, though.?
John Tortorella to Rick Carpiniello at Rangers Report

...So Derek Boogaard is out for a little while, so lets not think about him. Todd White will come out on Wednesday, that seems to be the obvious move. From there though, you have Erik Christensen and Sean Avery as players who have been playing less recently and went from the first line to the fourth line. Most likely, when Boogaard comes back, Christensen will sit and the fourth line, pending the other three are still scoring and playing well, will have, Drury, Avery and Boogaard. It's when Vinny Prospal comes back that things get really hairy. Right away Boogaard can sit, but what happens when you play the Flyers or the Isles or teams that play a little chippy, who sits then? You don't really want to sit Avery since those are games where he can be his Averyest but then who comes out? Alex Frolov?

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?Like my grandpa always says, ?When it rains it pours?,? Stepan said of his recent scoring success. ?I don?t want to sound like a broken record, but this is all part of the process for me. It was good for me to play 10 minutes a night in a somewhat different role. It helped get me to what I am doing now.?
Stepan to Jim Cerny of the Rangers site

...I love how Stepan gets it. He understands that his five game point streak is great, but he could just as easy go pointless for a while like he did just before. John Tortorella believes in Stepan as a big piece, not just of the future, but of right now. I still think that Erik Christensen is the best player to fill the number one center spot, but it's awesome to see Derek Stepan succeed in the role that I hope he assumes full-time for many years to come.

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I think about him a lot when we?re not practicing and not playing games. I just want to make sure, him and Stepan, and players like that, that we don?t miss the steps in the process of growing. I took a couple of shifts away from him tonight because I worry about that. I don?t want to fill him. I just want to go about the process the right way.
John Tortorella to Carp at Rangers Report

...I think that Anisimov is in the right spot in the lineup and playing the time that he does. He looks so confident on the ice and has excellent chemistry with Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan. He is probably playing a role a little higher then what was anticipated of him but he has excelled so far and has five points early in the season.

As for Derek Stepan, he is the guy to that Tortorella really needs to manage. He is so young and so confident that he can probably take anything that is thrown at him, but it's for the best to keep him on the third line. While his talent level is very high and his future seems bright, I think its best that he stays with Sean Avery and Ruslan Fedotenko on a line that has been productive so far. Playing the whole season on the third line and the power play is the best way for Step to develop into the player we want him to be.

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