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John Tortorella says Caps should stop “whining” about getting hit

Apr 19, 2011, 5:06 PM EDT

John Tortorella Getty Images

If there’s anything you can count on in the NHL its for Rangers coach John Tortorella to not hide his feelings. Whether he’s being animated on the bench or in a press conference with a writer that won’t stop pestering him he doesn’t hide his feelings very well and that’s why we love the guy.

This week when Caps coach Bruce Boudreau took time out to sound off about Madison Square Garden and to campaign for a few more calls, especially in regard to recently returned from a concussion defenseman Mike Green. With so much talk floating around lately, it would be tough for Tortorella to stay silent in regards to all the chatter.

Thankfully for us he didn’t stay quiet for long as Katie Carrera of The Washington Post found out today. Tortorella apparently isn’t such a big fan of the kind of verbal campaigning we’ve seen out of Boudreau.

“Our mindset is just focusing on what we need to do, how we play – play the right way and get ready for Game 4,” Tortorella told reporters after the Rangers’ practice in Greenburgh, N.Y. “We have confidence in the league, we have confidence in the officials that they won’t be influenced by all the whining going on here right now.

“We’re staying away from it, and we’re focused on what we need to do,” Tortorella said. “And like I said, we have confidence in the league that this doesn’t affect the series. It’s a pretty good series. Two pretty good teams, going at it pretty hard.”

Whining is one way to put it that’s for sure. “Gamesmanship” might be the word used more by Caps fans or neutral observers as well but for now, we’ll take it from Tortorella’s perspective on this and run with it. You see this sort of thing happen all the time through the playoffs. Get a writer’s ear, say a few outlandish-seeming things, let it run like wildfire through the media.

This time around, Tortorella fired back with some shots of his own and why not. After all, in Game 3 his team got the benefit of the officiating considering how many power plays they got in comparison to Washington (seven for New York compared to three for Washington). From his perspective everything is OK. It’s all the more reason why Boudreau has been such a darling the last few days with his own words.

It’s not quite a game of chess between these two but it is far more entertaining and quotable. Here’s to hoping it lasts a little bit longer.

  1. bcjim - Apr 19, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Hey Torts, Im thirsty. Got any water???

    I hope when this series is reaching its evident end (whichever way) that Erskine gives that little hothead Avery the beatdown he so richly deserves.

    • stakex - Apr 19, 2011 at 6:53 PM

      Judgeing by your comments, Id say Avery is earning his paycheck.

  2. gocaps8 - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    I don’t mind the Avery stuff. That’s his role. If I were Torts, I’d have him doing the same stuff because my team would be overmatched. You’ve got to get the Caps off their game to have a chance.

    But the very next time someone goes after Green’s head, the Caps need to answer on the ice. If the refs won’t call the game right, then drop the gloves.

  3. tommytd - Apr 20, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    These guys all need to protect themselves because they’re sure not going to get any help from the NHL and their arbitrary enforcement of the no head shot rules. That hot dog from Vancouver nails Brent Seabrook in the head and there’s no penalty, no suspension, no nothing. The NHL’s rationalization — Seabrook was hit in the head by the opposition player’s shoulder and therefore it’s an OK hit. If we’re trying to protect players and eliminate head shots, what the hell does it matter what part of the anatomy the other guy used??? If he delivered a shot to the head, he should be gone period…end of story! This is why the NHL will always be a second rate professional sport – they sanction this type of play. Bettman is a moron and he should be replaced!

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