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Torts' MSG show begins second season

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

MSG Network announced today that the second season of “Behind the Bench,” featuring New York Rangers coach John Tortorella and former Rangers coaching legend Mike Keenan, will premiere Friday, November 11 at 6:00 p.m.

Bill Pidto returns as host of “Behind the Bench” to lead the coaching duo in discussions about the Rangers and current topics in the NHL. The 30-minute, twice monthly program provides fans with unprecedented access to Rangers practices, game reviews and coaching strategies.

In Friday’s premiere episode, Coach Tortorella talks about the start of the Rangers 2011-12 season, including the team’s opening two games in Europe and west coast swing. Coach also discusses what the addition of off-season acquisition Brad Richards, who he coached for six seasons in Tampa Bay, has meant to the team.

Rangers head coach John Tortorella will give fans a greater understanding of what goes into coaching decisions on MSG Network's "Behind the Bench"
“It isn’t talked enough about, but he understood what it was like to be a pro at a very young age – off the ice, how you handle yourself,” says Tortorella. “I think that’s what our team needs because we’re so young and we’re ready to take the next step.”

Coach Tortorella and Coach Keenan also address the rising concerns over concussions in the NHL and how the league has improved its policies in regards to the injuries.

"The protocol now for concussions and the seriousness in which they monitor these players is favorable from a medical standpoint, from a career standpoint, and for the future after they retire,” says Keenan. “I had Brad Marsh in Philadelphia; he hit the deck and didn't wear a helmet – knocked out on his feet – hit his head on the ice and was knocked out even more. He missed one practice and came back to play with us. He had all the symptoms but nobody paid attention from a medical point-of-view. So things have progressed in a positive way."

Additional segments in the show include: “You Asked For It,” where the coaches answer email and video questions from fans; “The Film Room,” where Coach Tortorella breaks down film while providing analysis of player performances and explanation of team strategy; “Open Mic,” which listens in as a member of the coaching staff is mic’ed up during a practice or a game; and “The Edge,” which takes a look at the progress of one of the Rangers’ young players, from the point-of-view of the coaches and the players themselves.

MSG Networks telecasts over 300 live NHL games each year as well as “Hockey Night Live,” the only comprehensive hockey show in the New York area, every Saturday night throughout the hockey season.
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