“The one thing we have to make sure of as a franchise is that we do not allow this interruption to hurt our momentum,” Tortorella said. “We cannot use this as an excuse.
“With all the potential distractions last year, including opening in Europe, the Winter Classic, HBO with “24/7,” we sent a letter to our players over the summer  telling them there would be no excuses,” he said. “That’s going to be the same message from Day 1 this year.
“We will not use this as an excuse. We’re better than that. We are not going to allow this to stop us from getting to where we want to go.”