John Tortorella and his players have insisted the way to reverse course on the Rangers' rocky start is to "decide" to start playing consistently.

But is it possible the fiery coach, whose team opens a three-game homestand tonight against the Maple Leafs, privately believes something else?

Tortorella has historically had a prickly relationship with the media, which was reinforced after Thursday's 2-1 loss at Philadelphia when he scolded two reporters for asking "stupid" questions while vehemently denying any suggestion the Rangers were not in the best state of conditioning they could be at this point.

But he's also smart enough to know how to use the media to get his message across to his players or, sometimes, to his bosses.

So let's analyze a sequence of comments Tortorella has made this week: