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Sometimes, even the best players need a kick in the pants. If they're not playing well, then they need to be publicly called out.
Tortorella is not afraid to do that. Take this example, where Tortorella is talking about Marian Gaborik's performance in last year's Eastern Conference Finals:
“Gabby ... still has to learn, I believe, along with a number of our guys ... that when you get to the conference finals — and Gabby wasn’t bad in the first two rounds — as it ratchets up and there are four teams left, you have to get it to another level, and I don’t think he was able to."
Marian Gaborik is one of the best players on the Rangers, yet Tortorella went out of his way to make it known that he was not pleased with Gaborik's performance.
That's not an easy thing to do. Tortorella, sometimes to his detriment, is outspoken, but his call for Gaborik to improve has had its benefits.
So far through 17 games, Gaborik has seven goals and four assists. Three of those goals have been game-winners.
His methods may draw some ire, but his penchant for criticizing players does help his team perform better.