As the Rangers prepared for their first game with their new-look lineup, coach John Tortorella couldn't say whether his revamped team is better today after making two deals than it was 24 hours ago.
"I have no idea," Tortorella said. "I need to see them play. I can't answer that question."
Over the last 24 hours, the Rangers have acquired four players, three of which will be in the lineup in Wednesday's game against Pittsburgh. The Rangers added forward Ryane Clowe in exchange for draft picks Tuesday, and secured forwards Derick Brassard and Derek Dorsett and defenseman John Moore for Marian Gaborik on Wednesday. Dorsett is the lone player in that group who isn't available as he has a broken collarbone.
"I believe the [Gaborik] deal will work for both teams because I believe he's going to play really well and we get a number of assets and depth onto our team moving forward in trying to sign [Derek] Stepan and players like that. It gives us a little flexibility there also," Tortorella said. "I think it's going to be a good deal for both teams."
The new Rangers won't have any time to get acclimated to their new team as they get thrust into the lineup in what will be an important game for the Rangers against the Penguins. Over the final weeks of the season, Tortorella said the team won't overload the players with new information, instead giving them a foundation to work from and working off that.
"I think sometimes it's best that they just go play and then as we go through we'll try to give them bits and pieces as we go through," Tortorella said. "This is just the nature of the beast when you make deals, deadlines, you're going to be playing every other night, that's just the way it is. We need to find a way to win and we're hoping they are going to help us."
Tortorella didn't have much information about his new crop of players, wanting to see them play before dissecting their games. The report he received on Moore is that the 22-year-old is a fantastic skater who is continuing to learn the game, while he likes the grit that Clowe and the others will bring. Tortorella mentioned several times that he believes the trades improved the team's ruggedness while strengthening them at center and on defense.
"[Clowe's] a guy that certainly brings some jam to our lineup, hasn't scored this year but has been able to score plus bang, a good leader, good size," Tortorella said. "I think him and what I think we get with Dorsett, it gives us a little bit of the grind we're missing right now, a little bit different from last year. I think Brassard and Moore you get some skills skating, and then we'll see how it goes. I'm anxious to see them play and then we can answer the questions together."