One Night After The Brawl That Left Blood Spilled All Over The Ice at Madison Square Garden, The New York Rangers Head Coach Tells The Devils' Head Coach To Just Shut Up!
New York Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella is not backing down. Earlier today, Tortorella said that New Jersey Devils Head Coach Peter DeBoer starting three enforcer-types at Madison Square Garden last night, which led to three fights three seconds into the game, was "disrespectful" to the game and players.
DeBoer defended his lineup choice after the Rangers’ 4-2 win over the Devils, saying his starting lineup was in response to enforcer lineups that Tortorella had started at the Prudential Center in December. When Tortorella flipped out over DeBoer's starting lineup, getting caught on television camera cursing out De Boer on the bench, the Devils Coach called the Rangers Coach a "hypocrite."
"I think Peter needs to jog his memory as far as the starting lineups that I put in over in their building and really basically just shut up," Tortorella told the media on Tuesday after the Rangers practiced. "And I need to, also. I just think the situation last night is disrespectful to players and I just think we took a backwards step."
DeBoer started Ryan Carter, Cam Janssen and Eric Boulton. Tortorella responded with Stu Bickell, Brandon Prust and Mike Rupp. The battle lines were drawn. Even the announcers knew the fight was about to take place. As expected all three squared off three seconds into the game. Bickel, a rookie, opened up a gash on Carter’s nose and play had to be stopped to scrape blood off of the ice at The World's Most Famous Arena.
"I get put in a position when he puts a lineup like that out and I am not sure what's going to happen if I put my top players out so I have to answer the way I think I need to answer," Tortorella said this afternoon. "Just look at the two lineups and some of the things he's done through the games here, again, I don't want to coach his team, but again, just shut up.".
Tortorella doesn't shy away from the fights on the ice.
"Fighting is part of the game, it's a big part of the game," Tortorella said, invoking his best Vince McMahon / Dana White / Paul Heyman mentality (not that we have anything but admiration for such a mentality), "but it doesn't need to be manufactured and that type of game. Jersey and the Rangers; there was going to be fights. But it's really gotten old for me, the staged fights. It really doesn't need to be manufactured."
The Head Coach continued, "I think there is enough of it and there always will be and there should be. I am certainly not one of the pacifists and think fighting should be out of the game, it's a big part of our game," Tortorella said. "But let the players decide. I don't think coaches should be putting players in situations where it basically dictates fighting."
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