Are We Seeing a Kinder, Gentler, John Tortorella?
We've all been reading the quotes from John Tortorella, and we talked at length about the video interview he did with MSG the other night, and I'm wondering if perhaps the coach has maybe given himself a bit of an attitude adjustment.
First came his admission last week that he probably played Wade Redden more than he should have last season, and admitted that the contract played a part in that. To me, that was as close to an admission of being wrong as we've ever heard from the fiery coach.
Now I keep reading how John Tortorella is "happy" with this guy, and "pleased" with that guy, and I can't help but wonder if we aren't seeing something of a transformation.
Take for example his comments on Derek Stepan and the young players: (from Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants, click link for full story)
"He’s played in some pretty high-intensity tournaments along the way, the World Championships and college. I think most of our kids, including him, have handled themselves well coming into a big camp. He equipped himself very well. Little Kennedy has done some good things in the middle of the ice. I’m just happy that guys are competing and we’re able to see some of the young kids step up here. I think our kids have played very well as we’ve gone through the early part of camp."
"Happy"? "Played well"? "Good things"? Those are compliments, I'd know them anywhere!
Can a "Thousand Points of Light" and "I'd like to buy the world a Coke" be far behind?
We've seen it happen before in sports, Tom Coughlin of the Giants realized his old ways weren't working, and in 2007 changed some of his methods, and the results played a part in Big Blue winning Super Bowl 42.
Don't get me wrong, there's a long way to go before I'll truly believe that Torts has changed some of his ways, and is going about things differently, because "Sunshine" Torts could go right out the window the first time Larry Brooks of the NY Post asks him a question he doesn't want to answer. Plus the Rangers haven't actually played a game yet, which could also turn that smile upside down. But at this point, it bears watching.