BOSTON -- The New York Rangers power play is a daily story for its continuous struggles, and Saturday the focus turned to Carl Hagelin, the speedy, skilled left wing who doesn't even play on the power play.
Now we know why, courtesy of coach John Tortorella.
"Because he stinks on the power play," Tortorella said during an entertaining press conference following practice Saturday at TD Garden. "He stinks. I don't know why. I wish I could put him on the power play, but every time I put him on, he stinks."
Any reason why that is?
"I think he's too quick," Tortorella said of Hagelin, who has five points in eight games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. "I think he's a jitterbug and he screws it up. But again, I may use him, I don't know. I'd love to."
If Tortorella uses Hagelin on the power play, it's only because the Rangers have been so dreadful in that area and he wants to change things up. They are 2-for-31 (6.4 percent) in the playoffs, including 0-for-3 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Bruins.
"But the power play stinks," Tortorella said, cutting off a reporter who was going to make that exact point. "Yeah, it's true, so that's why he may get an opportunity. I'm not sure if he will or not."
Has Tortorella ever encountered an offensive player with Hagelin's ability who simply can't play on the power play?
"No, no, it screws me up, too, because I'd like to put him on the power play but he stinks on the power play," he said. "I can't figure it out. I can't. I love the guy. He is such an effective player, but he, as I said many times, stinks on the power play."
Has he investigated a reason by asking Hagelin what he thinks of his play on the power play?
"I've asked him why he stinks on the power play," Tortorella said.
And what does he say?
"Not too much," the coach said. "He's a good player. He's really important to us, but it just has not worked out there. But he may get an opportunity if we keep on going here."