We all know what an endearing and engaging person John Tortorella is, right? About as lovable as a paper cut. His cantankerous attitude and reputation with the media rivals only my grandfather during a bout of hemorrhoids. In a way, he’s the opposite of a media darling yet still a star in his own way.
As Rangers fans, we know to expect some gems from Tortorella every now and then. Take the 2-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers a couple weekends back. Torts proclaimed in 16 seconds that his team sucked from head to toe and that’s all anyone needed to know. You shouldn’t expect much in 16 seconds, until you’re talking about how long Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kris Humphries lasted. But I digress…if you poke John Tortorella the right way, you’ll get a response with just enough heat to rival a volcanic eruption. The latest person to do so: Joe Thornton.
Join me to find out what Joe Thornton did to make Tortorella say he’s “classless” and to just “shut up”
In case you didn’t hear, San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton called the Rangers the “softest” team they faced on their recent six-game road trip that concluded with a 5-2 loss to the Blueshirts last night. Here’s the full quote via SB Nation:
“To be honest with you, they were probably the softest team we played against on this road trip,” said Joe Thornton. “We played some good teams, and I think we probably should have beat these guys, to be honest with you.”
Sorry Joe, the only thing “softer” than the Rangers last night are your team’s playoff performances of the past few seasons. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black in this situation. By the way, how did it feel watching a captain of a hockey actually make an impact in a game? It probably made you feel jealous, sir.
In typical Joe Thornton fashion, the Sharks captain backtracked on his comments today according to Darren Dreger:
@DarrenDreger: Thornton says “soft” was not the right word to describe Rangers. He was frustrated says it was a game SJ should have won with NYR struggling.
When asked by Stan Fischler during the post-game press conference, Tortorella simply responded by saying “Joe said that? Wonderful.” The look on Torts’ face when saying wonderful lead you to believe he had more to say but declined to elaborate, choosing to take the high road.
Until today, that is…
NY Daily News beat writer Pat Leonard caught up with the head coach, who had plenty more to say on the Thornton matter after sleeping on it:
“Yeah it caught me off-guard when it was brought up after the game,” Tortorella said at the team’s Greenburgh practice facility Tuesday morning. “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 g–damn 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.”
Despite being awesomely candid, there’s not one ounce of any inaccuracy in that statement by Torts. Add to his extensive resume of playoff failures the Hart Trophy he robbed from then Ranger Jaromir Jagr during the 2005-2006 season. Yes, “Jumbo Joe” had 96 assists that year and made Jonathan Cheechoo look like Brett Hull, but his team came up short when it matters the most, to the Edmonton Oilers in the Conference finals. By my count, Thornton should have at LEAST two Stanley Cups with the Men in Teal; or the same amount of Super Bowl rings Rex Ryan thinks he’s won with the Jets. I wonder how Joe felt about his former Boston Bruins hoisting the cup this past summer…
Bottom line Joe Thornton: as Torts so eloquently stated once in a different matter… just shut yer’ yap!