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Tortorella passes on ‘critiquing players’ such as Rich Nash

John Tortorella, Rick Nash, Ryan Callahan, Brian Boyle

New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella, top, and players Ryan Callahan (24), Brian Boyle (22) and Rick Nash (61) look on from the bench during third-period NHL hockey game action against the Montreal Canadiens in Montreal, Saturday, March 30, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)


Win or especially lose, the question after most New York Rangers playoff games is: what will head coach John Tortorella say? (Or sometimes, “how unpleasantly will he not say something?”)

Following the Rangers’ 2-1 OT loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 5 on Friday, Tortorella took the high road ... kind of. He was at least non-specific when asked about Rick Nash’s struggles, according to the Bergen Record’s Andrew Gross.

“I’m not critiquing players,” Tortorella said.

He did critique plays, however, calling Brian Boyle’s slash on Mike Ribeiro a “dumb penalty.”

“It’s a dumb penalty and you don’t kill that off,” Tortorella said. “He’s a guy that’s playing well but it’s a dumb penalty”

Tortorella didn’t want to badmouth Nash and he didn’t want to call Game 6 an elimination game.

“I’m not going to use that word,” Tortorella said. “We’ll go home and try to win a game.”

Whatever you want to call it.