Well look who’s back and blowing things out of proportion in order to produce a good soundbite. I’m talking about no one else than the New York Rangers’ coach John Tortorella. Apparently Torts was beside himself when he heard what Jumbo Joe Thornton had to say about the Rangers. When asked about how the Sharks played against the Rangers on Monday:
Thornton said after Monday’s game: “They were probably the softest team we played on the trip. We should have had these two points.”
When Torts first learned of the comments during a press conference, he handed it with class. he refused to make a big deal of it. That’s not the Tortorella I know. I’m used to this guy mouthing off at kid’s birthday parties and any other occasion that there is a microphone in front of him. As the old saying goes, a leopard never changes his spots, and Torts could not stay classy for long.
Torts’ comments the day after: “It surprised me, and I’ve never heard a player say that. Joe’s a heck of a player, but here’s a player popping off about our team, and Joe hasn’t won a god d— thing in this league. He could go down as a player, being one of the better players in our league never to win anything. So what he should do is just shut up. It was uncalled for, it was classless, and I’ve never had it happen like that before.”
I dunno why Torts is getting so fired up and mouthing off to the media. I mean, he’s been in the league for a long time. He could have probably gotten in contact with Thornton and found out exactly what was meant by “soft.” Instead of being a professional and handling the situation properly, like we are all expected to do in our everyday jobs (e.g., disputes in the workplace usually requires the grieving party to follow the appropriate channels), Torts decides to be a baby about it and cry to the media.
Do I agree with Thornton’s comments? I can’t say for sure, because I don’t have enough information to know what Joe actually meant. Did he mean that in general the Rangers aren’t a physical team? Or did he actually mean that the Rangers don’t have any heart?
What I can say is that Joe has much more class than John Tortorella, and showed it with his comments on Wednesday:
Thornton’s regret: “Every couple of years you have to say some sort of bone-headed thing. Usually I’m pretty good, but I say the wrong word once in a while. But no harm done. I just used the wrong word.”
Indeed we all slip up and say the wrong thing sometimes. I gotta admit that this little situation would have set the stage for a good rematch against the Rangers. Unfortunately the Sharks don’t play the Rangers anymore this year.
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