Tortorella compliments Marchand

NEW YORK -- At the start of the series, New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella said he would not answer any questions about the Boston Bruins. He would only answer questions about his team, his players.

With the Rangers facing a 0-2 deficit in the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Bruins, Tortorella was surprisingly in a good mood Tuesday morning and actually praised the play of the Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Tortorella actually said Marchand’s been “the best player in this series.”

When told about the opposing coach’s comment, Marchand disagreed with the assessment of his play in the first two games.

“It’s a compliment but I don’t think I played very well last game. I got a goal but it was another backdoor tap-in from Bergy and I had a few too many turnovers, and got caught out of position on that second goal. I don’t think I had a good game last game at all,” Marchand said.

Do you think Tortorella is messing with you?

“Yeah, possibly,” Marchand 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.

“Everyone feels like we need to step up. We know that we’re not going to have a shot playing with these guys if everyone’s not playing at top of their game. I think everyone is focused on doing that.”