NEW YORK (CBS) – New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella didn’t want to talk about the Boston Bruins before their playoff series, but he’s paying them some compliments now that they have his team in a 2-0 hole.
Or maybe he’s just trying to mess with one of their most productive players.
In his media session Tuesday morning, prior to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Tortorella said Bruins forward Brad Marchand is “the best player in this series.”
Marchand was asked about Tort’s compliment after Boston’s morning skate, and while he took the praise, he doesn’t agree with it.
“It’s a compliment but I don’t think I played very well last game,” said Marchand. “I got a goal, but it was another back-door tap in from (Patrice Bergeron). I had a few too many turnovers and got caught out of position of their second goal; gave up their first one. So I don’t think I had a good game at all.”
Given Tortorella’s ways with words, does Marchand think it could just be the Rangers coach trying to get into his head?
“Possibly,” the winger said. “I didn’t even know he said it. I try to stay away from the media, I think all of our guys do. We just want to focus on what’s going on in the room and if it is a mind game, I’ll try to stay away from that.
Marchand has two points in each of the first two games of the series, netting the overtime winner in Game 1 and then adding to a 3-2 lead just 26 seconds into the third period in Game 2.
But he knows that even though the Bruins are up 2-0, a lot can still happen now that the series shifts to New York.
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“We know what happened against Washington (last series), them being down 2-0. We want to make sure we don’t take it for granted,” said Marchand. “The series could be in a completely different situation if we didn’t get a couple lucky bounces. We have to bring our best game tonight and hope for the best.”
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