Steve Zipay is an award-winning journalist who has covered events from Super Bowls to World Series and issues
BOSTON - Welcome to Professor Tortorella's class, students.
We can't give you a fly-on-the-wall report from the video sessions that the Rangers' coach relies on to instruct his players -- who say the seminars are informative and sometimes cause some cringing after poor performances -- but here's a sampling of what the coach will say about the classes.
Every team uses video, and during the offseason, the Rangers bought new equipment to edit and present footage to the group or individual units. And the program is different in the playoffs than the regular season.
"When I'm showing video during the playoffs, it's a decision we make on what's needed to be seen,'' Tortorella said Friday after the 3-2 overtime loss in Boston on Thursday night. "There will be some on the overtime, there will be some things right through the game as far as the Bruins' concept, where we're doing well, where we're struggling.''
First, Tortorella and the coaches review the game. Tortorella said during the season he sometimes watches tape to break down games and chart scoring chances and other stats for three or four hours daily.
"It depends on what I think the team needs after we view the tape, what the team needs to see as we approach the game,'' he said. "I'm not a big believer that you need 15 positives and four negatives . . . We let the tape talk, and our team is used to that.''
Does he show tape of the power play, which has been, to put it mildly, awful?
"Absolutely,'' he said. "A lot of our video -- we don't show any five-on-five of the other team during the regular season, but it's different in the playoffs. We do quite a bit of five-on-five; when you play a team over a few weeks, there are some tendencies, but yes, we are showing video of our special teams and we'll do it right on through the series.''
Nash, Seguin are due
During the season, Nash had 21 goals, Seguin 16. They're due.
"I think everyone knows how good [Nash] is, and that line, they're really skilled,'' Bruins rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton said. "We're just trying to take away time and space and be physical.''
Odds are that one of them breaks the hex in the series.
The amazing Zdeno Chara
Although he's 36 years old, every team would love to have fitness fanatic and avid cyclist Zdeno Chara on their defense. The 6-9, 260-pound blueliner for the Bruins played 35 minutes in Game 7 against the Maple Leafs and 38 in Game 1 against the Rangers.
How does he do it? To borrow a rhyme from Clyde Frazier: Conditioning and nutritioning.
Chara has ridden five or more stages of the Tour de France in the summer and favors lean meats, especially rabbit, baked potatoes (no toppings) and steamed vegetables. He rarely consumes alcohol or caffeine, maybe one glass of wine and a cup of cappucino every three weeks.
The Czech veteran's regimen and discipline wow younger players. "I was tired [Thursday] but not exhausted,'' 24-year-old Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski said. "But thinking about him, holy crap . . . not only his play, but playing his game and playing strong every shift. It's not like he's just out there taking up space . . . and playing against their best players and adding offense, too.''
On Friday, a reporter asked Bartkowski if Chara got on the bike in the morning and rode 50 miles?
Bartkowski: "He might've just not even slept and rode through the whole night.''
Why don't you follow him around and see what he eats?
"I don't know if I can keep up with him.''