“We need some really good players to make some really good plays and we’re not getting really good plays from our really good players consistently enough,” Tortorella said.
That may eventually translate into some personnel changes -- even Tuesday, 19-year-old prospect J.T. Miller earned some power-play time with his impressive play -- and some introspection for the coaching staff.
Tortorella said he wants to back off his club a bit, rather than hammering for the special teams’ ineptitude.
“I’m trying to stay away from criticizing so much because it really doesn’t help ‘em,” he said. “We need to do it together and until we do it we’re in a jam.”
Tactically, there are some areas that need to improve.
“I don’t think we’re coming into the zone with enough speed and another thing is, I think we’re not retrieving pucks well enough,” said Nash, who has only one point on the power play this season. “Once we get it in and there’s a battle for the puck, it seems like the other team’s always coming up with it. Those are the two main things right now that we have to work on.”
It’s hard to fault Nash for the unit’s anemic performance. The big-bodied forward has been one of the team’s best in his first few weeks on Broadway, but hasn’t even had the puck on his stick during some key man-up opportunities this season.
The unit’s inability to produce seems puzzling, considering the firepower they have up front. But Nash insists that pressure isn’t what’s holding them back.
“I think anytime with special teams, there’s expectations. It’s no different here,” he said. “Special teams wins you games. You’ve got to score on the power play and you’ve got to keep goals out of your net on the penalty kill and we haven’t been doing it. I think that’s why we’ve lost some games.”