Rangers coach John Tortorella thinks the first-round playoff series between the Rangers and Capitals is closer than the results suggest.
Adam Oates says it’s hard to argue with results.
That is the backdrop as the two teams gear up for tonight’s Game 3 at Madison Square Garden with the third-seeded Caps holding a two games to none lead on the sixth-seeded Rangers.
“I think [Games 1 and 2] have been a hell of a lot more even than a lot of other people think,” Tortorella said in his pre-game presser. “But it really doesn't matter. We need to win a game. It doesn't matter what's happened in the other two, we need to win a game, and that's all we're thinking about.”
Through two games the Capitals have outscored the Rangers 4-1. They’ve outshot the Rangers 68-60. And they have outscored them on the power play 2-0.
So does Adam Oates agree with Tortorella’s assessment?
“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “It’s 2-0. I don’t know how that’s even. Both games were good games that could have gone either way. The margin of error was very small. I would agree with that.”
Tortorella said too often people look more at the results than what led to them.
“Oh, it definitely happens,” he said. “You guys [in the media] do. I mean you guys just look at results, you have your head stuck in your computers, but I'm not just saying you guys.
“It's a really good question, because I can't afford to do that. I think a big part of coaching is addressing your team on how they played, not what the result was. It's a game of results, there's no question, but I can't go about the process of coaching a hockey team on what the result was. You need to be really careful there.”
That said, Tortorella said he feels the Rangers and Capitals are “close,” but added, “it means squat if you don't win.”