by Patrick Hoffman on 01/29/12 at 12:59 PM ET
From Jesse Spector at The Sporting News:
Coaching in the All-Star Game is a validation of the job that John Tortorella has done behind the New York Rangers’ bench this season, even if he chooses not to see it that way.
“It’s an honor, but it isn’t me,” the coach of the Eastern Conference’s top team said on Friday. “I’m standing in, along with (New York’s players on the All-Star teams) as part of an organization that has found their way through the first half of the year. It’s a half of the year break, and they’ve recognized how teams have played and individuals have played. I’m standing in, and it’s an honor, but it’s certainly not an individual honor. It’s to represent the New York Rangers.”
“He wears his emotions on his sleeve, and I think that’s a real valuable thing,” said San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan, who will share the reins of Team Alfredsson with Tortorella on Sunday, while Claude Julien of the Boston Bruins calls the line changes for Team Chara. “Teams often take the identity of their coach, and over time I believe that’s happened in New York. They’re a scrappy group, a competitive group. They pay the price, they block shots every night. They obviously have some talent. But I think those characteristics, that he’s promoted there, and that he carries on his sleeve, have rubbed off on his players and they’re in first place for a reason.”
Click here for more on Tortorella.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
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