What They Really Meant, 24/7 Edition: New York Rangers

Introducing a new segment that will run throughout the season, “What They Really Meant.” NHL players and coaches often talk in code; this segment will try to decipher what they really mean, either for humorous purposes (such as today’s post), or realistic analysis.

Today’s entry will focus on quotes from Episode 1 of HBO’s 24/7 Flyers/Rangers series that leads up to the Winter Classic, starting with the New York Rangers today. Philadelphia Flyers’ quotes will be published tomorrow.

Today’s blog is for humorous and entertainment purposes only. All quotes are taken from 24/7, but the subsequent “analysis” is my creation only, and not intended to accurately reflect the mindset of any person quoted herein.

Without further delay, I give you What They Really Meant, 24/7 Edition: New York Rangers.

Episode 1 of the 24/7 Rangers/Flyers series opens with footage of the players, backed by a chilling John Murphy score. As the narrator starts to talk, I almost expect the words “the Icarus 2 is nearing the surface of the sun” to come out. But they do not. Instead, the narrator eventually stops talking, and the players start. Here are some assorted quotes from throughout the episode.

SETTING

New York Rangers left-wing Sean Avery has just finished with some emotional poses during his modeling shoot, and is now being interviewed.

WHAT THEY SAID

Sean Avery: “… Some guys do other things to take up their time, and uh I just try to do a little bit of everything really.”

WHAT THEY MEANT

This camera’s pretty close to my face. I hope my mascara isn’t visibly smearing.

SETTING

A group New York Rangers’ players are sitting in the back of a limousine with some kids from a local youth club. They are all on their way to meet and watch the Rockettes, a female dance troupe in New York City.

WHAT THEY SAID

A kid (to the NYR players): “Why do you fight in hockey?”

A Ranger player (looking at his teammate Brandon Prust): “Because he was being bad.”

The kid: “You were fighting???”

Brandon Prust: “Um, once, yes. But only on the ice.

WHAT THEY MEANT

So if you’re ever close to an ice rink, take your enemies there first before you lay into them. That way you can injure them more when they hit the ice without it being directly your fault!

SETTING

New York Rangers center Brian Boyle is being interviewed about what it was like taking underprivileged kids to see the Rockettes.

WHAT THEY SAID

Brian Boyle: “(The kids) were so happy… They had so much fun there. They got to meet us, we got to meet the Rockettes.”

WHAT THEY MEANT

What can I say, it’s like Torts always tells us: no pain, no gain.

SETTING

New York Rangers coach John Tortorella is being interviewed about player injuries.

WHAT THEY SAID

John Tortorella: “I have a tough time seeing players in the trainers room every day getting rubbed, and they’re sore, and they’re getting this done, that done. I think athletes can create more problems for themselves than there really is. I think that’s part of a mindset.”

WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT

Injuries are for girls. Healing is for girls. That rubbing bullshit is like something I would do to my wife’s back on Valentine’s day.

If it wasn’t for girls.

It’s not something for athletes, especially not in the training room. Training rooms are for muscles, for men. Athletes should get rubbed in the bedroom or not at all.

SETTING

Brad Richards is being interviewed about what it’s like to play for coach John Tortorella again, who he won a Stanley Cup with in 2004 for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

WHAT THEY SAID

Brad Richards: “It’s definitely not the same, I don’t think anybody’s the same after ten, eleven years of doing something. He’s obviously picked up on other things, other methods.”

WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT

HELP ME! It was him or one of the Sutter brothers, what was I supposed to do?

SETTING

24/7 Flyers/Rangers cuts to John Tortorella as he talks about what coaching Richards, and everyone else, is like after all these years.

WHAT THEY SAID

John Tortorella: “I’m asking more questions of them than telling them right now. Because it’s a matter of respect, I think they have grown, and I think you need to allow them to have some input here.”

WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT

Is anyone actually buying this? I just hope my face isn’t as transparent as Brad Richards when he talks about me.

SETTING

John Tortorella is lecturing his team during intermission about how to better defend Toronto Maple Leaf’s sniper Phil Kessel.

WHAT THEY SAID

John Tortorella: “… And more importantly, it’s the players away from the puck. Brian Boyle we’ve done that fucking coverage all fucking year long. You’ve got that fucking mic on you can’t fucking think straight.

WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT

Brian Boyle: So that explains it. Torts has been wearing a mic this whole time, since the day he became coach. This must also be the explanation for why Los Angeles Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi is hiring Daryl Sutter as his new coach, when everyone else thinks it’s a terrible idea. It’s not that Daryl Sutter was a bad coach in Calgary and San Jose, he was just wearing a mic all the time, unbeknownst to him. Now that Lombardi figured this out and took Sutter’s mic out, he’s got a super-coach! I better tell Torts! … Or should I? I’m pretty sick of all the Rosie O’Donnell remarks… I’m a power forward, a rare commodity, I deserve better! This is all on you, Dustin Penner, you’ve given us all a bad name. Two, technically, Rosie and O’Donnell. Not cool.

SETTING

New York Rangers Russian center Artem Anisimov has just performed a gun-reloading celebration with his stick after scoring a goal, which motivated the opposing team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, to start a mini-brawl on the ice. Somehow, the head-referee has decided to penalize the Rangers for this, handing Anisimov the extra two-minute minor penalty, to go along with a 10-minute misconduct. Coach Tortorella is not pleased by this, so he calls the referee over to his bench to argue the call.

WHAT THEY SAID

John Tortorella (to referee): “Let me ask you a question. I don’t agree with (Anisimov’s celebration), but have you seen that in the league and been called a penalty?”

Referee: “Not that much.”

WHAT THEY MEANT

Referee: …but he’s russian, and I don’t want to a get a spanking after the game from Don Cherry, so I had to call the penalty. I’m sure you understand.

SETTING

After Anisimov’s celebration, the Rangers unravelled and eventually lost the game. In the locker room afterwards, Anisimov stands up and apologizes to his teammates.

WHAT THEY SAID

Artem Anisimov: Hey guys, sorry by me, I didn’t mean it like do something bad tonight, like when my celebration, sorry.”

WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT

Im sorry for trying to have a little fun on a team coached by Jon Tortorella. My mistake–now I know better. I promise it will never happen again, from now until the moment I’m eventually traded for a Canadian player with half my skill and twice my ice time. Very sorry.

SETTING

After losing the game, John Tortorella is being interviewed about his philosophy on losses, and if anything needs to be changed.

WHAT THEY SAID

John Tortorella: “We’re going to have some bumps, that’s where you gotta stay with your conviction, because if you start changing things around because of some struggles, then everybody is second guessing. It’s a matter of not losing your patience, and uh there may be some kicking and scratching going along, but your still within your concept to try and get back to where you want to be.”

WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT

Adapting is for monkeys. I’m a human, a mammal, an experienced NHL hockey coach. That shit isn’t for me. Leave it to newbies like Dan Bylsma.

SETTING

The New York Rangers are drawing credit cards out of a hat at a restaurant to determine who gets stuck with the bill for dinner. As you would expect, the lowest paid player on the team, fringe-NHL defenseman Jeff Woywitka gets stuck paying for his table.

WHAT THEY SAID

Jeff Woywitka: “It’s alright. Shouldn’t be too bad. I’ll pay.”

Woywitka’s teammate at the table: “(Looks like it’s coming out to) twenty-five-hundred.”

WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT

Jeff Woywitka: As if slow defencemen like myself needed any more reasons to hate fast forwards, I could probably make a run for the door without anyone catching me if it wasn’t for fucking Marian Gaborik standing right next to me.

SETTING

John Tortorella is being interviewed about his captain, Ryan Callahan.

WHAT THEY SAID

John Tortorella: “Ryan Callahan understands the intangible; he respects the game.”

WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT

He’s Canadian.

WHAT THEY SAID

John Tortorella (continued): “I think that’s something we’ve lost a little bit with our athletes.”

WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT

We have too many europeans on our team. You hear me, Sather? See if we can get Gomez back. That guy has some intangibles. Oh wait, I heard he speaks french now. Nevermind.

SETTING

During a game, Tortorella is unhappy with the play of his star forward Marian Gaborik, and he decides to let Gaborik know how he feels.

WHAT THEY SAID

John Tortorella: “Are you going to stop on a fucking puck tonight?? Are you going to stop on one tonight?? For fuck’s sake!”

SETTING

After the game, Gaborik is interviewed about Tortorella’s coaching style.

Marian Gaborik: “He’s very honest. He’s going to tell you whether it’s good or whether it’s bad. It’s nothing going around the bushes. He tells you directly.”

WHAT THEY REALLY MEANT

Marian Gaborik: He’s great at complimenting Ryan Callahan when it’s good and yelling at me when it’s bad.

SETTING

The New York Rangers are in the air on their team plane. Captain Ryan Callahan is getting his shoulder iced by the team trainer.

WHAT THEY SAID

Brandon Prust: “Calli wants me to give him a massage later, so we’re going to wait until he gets the ice off and give him a little rub down.”

WHAT THEY MEANT

Brandon Prust: And we’re going to wait to take the ice off until Tortorella can’t see us.

A few rows up, the hair instinctively rises up on John Tortorella’s head.

Check back tomorrow for the Philadelphia Flyers quotes from week one of 24/7 Flyers/Rangers, and look for more blogs this week on the San Jose Sharks and NHL.

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