I have respect for John Tortorella as a coach.
He's a straightforward guy that has taken a team that has underachieved for many years (when you look at how much money they have spent versus victories) and led them to the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
There's a lot to like about the way he has handled the Rangers.
Of course, Tortorella has a Stanley Cup ring, in 2003-04 with the Tampa Bay Lighning, so the fact that he has helped turn the Rangers into a top seed should not come as too much of a surprise to anyone.
What does come as somewhat of a surprise was the way he reacted to the Penguins/Rangers game the other night.
In a game that was rather pedestrian until the final 10 minutes, Tortorella gave a post game presser that went from a legitimate complaint about a hit Books Orpik put on Derek Stepan, to scathing accusations aimed toward two Pengiun's players and then the organization as a whole.
Torts has a track record for post game pressers that is pretty well known by now. He's an emotional guy, and immediately following a game, he can still be pretty hot under the collar.
For him to speak about the Orpik hit was something everybody expected. Orpik received a 5 minute major kneeing penalty and a 10 minute game misconduct. So the incident was obviously recognized by the officiating crew called accordingly.
Tortorella saying that the hit was 'cheap and dirty' was pretty much what you would expect any coach to say. We don't know if Orpik intended on making knee to knee (actually ended up being slightly above the knee) contact, but he certainly didn't try to avoid hitting Stepan.
But when Tortorella used the incident to make wider accusations against the Penguins 'two whining stars' and then finished with -
"It's one of the most arrogant organizations in the league. They whine about this stuff all the time, and look what happens."
"It's ridiculous. But they'll whine about something else over there, won't they, starting with their two (expletive) stars."
- He basically went juvenile and unwittingly (or perhaps knowingly) became the perfect example of his own comments.
If he has such detest and is so disgusted or thinks the Penguins and their ownership are so terrible, then why 'whine' about it. Why not show you are better than that and take the high road?
His additional comments, while certainly newsworthy (because of the accusations - and maybe that's the way he wanted it), were clearly not relevant in a situation where the referees saw the incident and punished the offending player accordingly. His comments made him sound like an angry little boy, lashing out at the kids on the playground.
Obviously, Tortorella is entitled to his own personal opinions. He's even entitled to share them with whoever he wants to...whenever he sees fit. But he should realize in this case, he's just a little off the mark...and sounded a lot more like the people he was accusing of poor behavior than someone that finds such behavior so 'ridiculous'.
Thanks for reading!
Torts is right.... only Pens fans don't see it
Tortorella was right on the mark, as was Berube, Milbury etc. Crosby and Gino have all the talent in the world, but watching them skate around with their lip stuck out like a pouting Tiger Woods is endearing them to know one.
No one. Pardon my grammar.
Hmmm...thinking you guys missed the mark too. Nobody complained about the Orpik hit...or said it was a bad call. Tortorella decided to make it into something else.
Torts was understandably angry. And he rightly pointed to a double standard within Pitt. org. There are a number of examples of Crosby and Malkin engaging in "dirty" acts on the ice yet Crosby often embellishes any time someone hits him, he does complain often to the refs too. In Malkin's semi-defense, I don't see him in the face of refs like Crosby.
Also, Org. and more specifically Lemieux are on record as complaining about "violence" in the league yet they've engaged in several instances of violence with no word from Pitt org. I will give them that they got Cooke to tone down his game and that's good.
This double standard...it ONLY exists in Pittsburgh I am sure. Good for John in pointing it out in a game where a valid penalty was called and nobody...except him...complained about it.
The Penguins spoke out with respect to Cooke...or did you miss that? And what violence are you speaking of, besides Cooke?
There was the incident with the Flyers a week ago, the game with the Isles last year. Vitale is no angel. The double-standard exists in each city to a degree. However Mario shined that spotlight on himself and the Pens last year with his comments following the Isles game.
The Flyers incident...the Vitale hit? Flyers have a 3 goal lead with a little over a minute left and Briere comes through the middle, looking to set-up/score...with his head down...and is hit cleanly. The Flyers reacted...the Penguins reacted. Nobody went after anybody. Everything started because of a clean hit.
The Isles incident...everybody called Lemieux a hypocrite because Cooke is on his team. But what the Isles did in that game was pretty much exactly what it was described as. And since then...Cooke has been punished and...dare I say...reformed.
The double standard is in existence for EVERYBODY. Nobody thinks there sh1t stinks...but all of it does. Tortorella decided to bring up stuff that had nothing to do with what happened on the ice that day. His team was not treated badly in the incident and Stepan will be fine.
The NHL proved Torts point when they fined him for his comments.
They would have fined ANY coach who said something like that...regardless of who it was about.
Just like they fined Mario Lemieux when he had a temper tantrum and called out the entire league when the Pens got manhandled by the Islanders?? You penguin fans are all the same. Fans of 29 other teams in the NHL agree 100% with Torts. Sorry..he is absolutely 100% right in EVERYTHING he said.
People have taken everything the pens have done and conveniently skew it to fit their out dated arguments. Its nothing new.
Come on glen, Crosby doesn't whine more than any other captain in the league anymore. And yeah, Crosby and Malkin have gotten engaged in scrums. Tell me a player that doesn't? I can find a hit with Cally using his elbows, should we start calling him dirty too?
The flyers game is irrelevant to this whole discussion because it was a clean hit. Those kind of things are allowed.
The Pens-Ilses are irrelevant because, while seeming hypocrtical at the time(Pens led the league in suspensions) they have been suspended a total of 5 games this year. Also, Lemieux did not call for an end to fighting or hitting, it was the fact Islanders players were going out with the sole intent of injuring. He admitted his team needed to change too, and they did. Nothing hypocritical about these statements.
In recognizing that there shouldn't be an end to fighting or hitting, there is the inherent risk that some are going to be dangerous/reckless/dirty/cause injury. There is nothing that can eliminate this from any game. The whole point was to make sure organizations make a better effort to ensure that these are the exception rather than the norm.
Also, not suspending Orpik was not the result of Pens bias, its how the league have been calling it the whole season. There have been plenty of knee-on-knee's that went unsuspened, I even remember one against Parise (a star with recent knee surgery) with nothing to come of it.
Don, the league didn't prove shit. He was warned to watch his mouth but Torts consistently needs to act childish. If I were the league, seeing as he doesn't even take his post game pressers seriously unless he's having a tantrum, I would fine him too. It was just as much the fact that he said it was what he said.
Vitale no angel? When was the last time the guy was suspended? Should the pens only employ players that won't hit? Because that was definitely the central point of Lemieux's complaint, no more hitting in the league.
Loaded up on Pens in my playoff pool. They're still a bunch of whiny brats, but money talks.
Reputations are sometimes earned and often times tough to get rid of. Obviously, Crosby has been paying for his first year or two in the league for another 4 or 5 years. Malkin though? He's chippy...but a whiner...not too much evidence of that.
Lemieux may have looked hypocritical, but HE proposed a fine structure last year that would have had his own team finded more than anybody else. and what they did with Cooke is pretty much exactly what you would expect of a team backing up it's word...change or be gone.
When Rupp kneed Staal...and Staal was out for weeks...did the Pens whine about that? Bylsma said it was up to the league to decide what to do...and it did nothing...and that was pretty much all you heard about it.
Here's a question...are the Flyers still bullies? Most fans of the team would say NO. But Scott Hartnell fits the bill perfectly. So, is using the OLD Broadstreet Bullies term accurate or not with the 2012 Flyers? It's an interesting question isn't it? They were the most penalized team this year, right?
So, wouldn't Laviolette be hypocritical too...I mean surely he's got to understand that all that BS Harntnell does AFTER THE WHISTLE creates a certain reputation for his team...even if there's only 1 or two other guys that fit that description. Most people would say, if you are going to allow him to do that stuff...expect some kind of response...right?