Look, last season’s start was no bed of roses, either. The Rangers not only won just three of their first nine games (3-3-3) in 2011-12, but looked so deficient in doing so, the club actually recalled Sean Avery out of exile in Hartford to help rescue the operation.

And whatever that shock treatment was ultimately worth, the Blueshirts did win their next seven — the first two with Instagram Sean a healthy scratch — and did go on runs of 12-2, 19-5-1 and 24-6-3 to establish themselves as a regular-season power once the gears began to mesh.

The first nine games of this season have yielded a 4-5 record in the wake of last night’s 3-1 defeat to the Devils at Prudential Center, as Martin Brodeur continued to rewind history by outplaying Henrik Lundqvist as he did last spring, Marian Gaborik was demoted and benched for a spell in the third, and Brian Boyle was benched, too.

And though it is no time to panic, for even a 48-game season provides enough quantity for quality to rise to the top, it clearly has gotten late reasonably early for Tortorella, who called out unnamed players — geez, wonder who he could have meant? — as “scared and tentative.”

The Rangers and Tortorella believe their training camp regimen creates a mindset that sets the club apart. There was no such opportunity to develop that mentality this year, but that can’t be a crutch for either a team or coach who play so much of the game between the ears, even if they haven’t played nearly enough of it so far below the hash marks.

It’s about execution for the Rangers, who can spend up to the cap but can’t seem to buy a clue on the power play (3-for-35 overall), frittering away 7:59 of man-up time with three measly shots in the first before going without a shot on their fifth and final advantage in the third.