David Quinn channels inner John Tortorella in Rangers plea

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The message was delivered both loudly and more softly by David Quinn, but either way, the Rangers’ coach was clear as crystal whether by way of one of his outbursts on the ice or in laying it out later.

For after stopping a drill to exclaim, “Too G–damn soft along the wall!” Quinn told the press what he was driving at before the Blueshirts’ flight to Edmonton for Tuesday’s opener of a three-game trip that also includes stops in Calgary and Vancouver.

And when he did that, you could have closed your eyes and heard John Tortorella from a decade ago, New England-ish accent and all.

“It keeps us in the [playoff] picture,” Quinn said of victories over the Hurricanes and Maple Leafs on Friday and Saturday in which the Rangers surrendered 42 shots to Carolina and 48 to Toronto. “That being said, we are ecstatic with the four points, but everybody in our locker room realizes we can’t play that way and have sustained success.

“If we want to achieve our ultimate goal, we have to elevate our commitment to defense and managing the puck and every guy has to do that, and it has to be across the board. It’s a mindset. We were fortunate. We’re all aware of that. There was a stretch where we were playing better defense and allowing less chances.

“The league in general, it’s all about offense, it’s all about statistics and data and Corsi, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to play defense,” the coach said. “That is a ‘want’ more than anything, it is a mindset, a lot of it is the DNA issue for players in this league and you’ve got to want to do it.

“There are a lot of guys in this league who can do a lot of things that people can’t do; the guys who are really good in this league can do things people can’t do, but are very good at doing what everybody can do. That’s a choice … that’s a choice. I know we all talk about whether we have those types of players, but listen, everyone has the ability to be somewhat physical and there is an element of physicality every player needs to have based on mindset.”

Brett Howden, a, ahem, lifelong center (he’s 21), will remain on the wing for the foreseeable future. He’ll continue to fill in on the left side of the third line for the injured Brendan Lemieux, with Filip Chytil in the middle and Kaapo Kakko on the right. Tuesday will mark his fifth straight on the flank.

“The key for me on the wing is to get my feet moving immediately and skate when I get the puck,” said Howden, who scored in Toronto but also committed an egregious turnover into the middle that led directly to a Maple Leafs goal. “There have been a few times when I was too slow and held the puck looking to make a play, so I’ve got to be quicker with that.

“Overall, I’ve got to simplify and have more of a shooting mentality and take the puck to the net and get myself there if I don’t have it. I’ve been talking to Lindy [Ruff, assistant coach] the last couple of weeks about having more of a net-mentality instead of trying to create plays.”

Lemieux told The Post he suffered his fractured left hand when he was hit by the puck during the third period of the Dec. 22 match against Anaheim at the Garden.

Alexandar Georgiev, spectacular in Toronto, will get the start in nets against the Oilers.

For more on the Rangers, listen to the latest episode of the “Up In The Blue Seats” podcast:

 

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