This morning we ran a post with a video showing Joe Thornton calling the Rangers soft after losing to them 5-2 in Madison Square Garden. It ends with John Tororella saying “Joe said that? Wonderful.”
I posited that it may have meant “Joe said that? Wonderful and ballsy considering it came from a guy with a reputation for being soft.” ….Okay, I guess verbatim my guess was: “wonderful, coming from him that doesn’t mean much,” but I still suspected it might be the implication.
The New York Post’s Marc Berman has the Torts quote in an article titled “Rangers coach says “classless” Joe Thornton should “shut up.”
“It caught me off guard when Stan (Fischler) brought it up after the game,” Tortorella said Tuesday after coaching 8-10-year-olds in a Garden of Dreams charity event at the practice site.
“It surprised me. I never heard a player say that. Joe’s a heckuva player. But here’s a player popping off about our team. Joe hasn’t won a God damned thing in this league. He could go down as a player, one of the better players in our league who has never to win anything. So what he should do is just shut up. It was uncalled for. It was classless. I’ve never had it happen like that before.’’
“Joe hasn’t won a God damned thing in this League” and “could go down as a player, one of the better players in our league who has never won anything” both strike me as kind of personal attacks in response to Joe’s comments about the Rangers group. I know they’d hurt me if I’d poured my heart into winning and hadn’t. At least “soft” is subjective.
The old “you don’t like my clothes? Well at least I don’t have a horrible disease” move.
As Dave Lozo pointed out today on twitter, the timeline is bizarre too: Joe rips the Rangers, Tortorella doesn’t get involved, Joe apologizes and clarifies his statement…then Torts fires back.
For me, the biggest point here is this: you’re an NHL coach. Players going back and forth in the media, that’s fine. They can exact revenge on one another, battle it out, and move on. But as a figurehead for a team, you’re supposed to be above that.
Not to mention that, on a personal level, why burn bridges? If Torts gets canned this year, you think San Jose is gonna look at a guy who not only ripped their captain, but now finds himself disliked by the face of their franchise? He should be above that, especially after a cool-down period.
I’m entertained by it, and I don’t ever want this stuff to stop, but man. Katie Baker said it best today when she tweeted the following video, so we’re just gonna go ahead and bite her idea:
Yup. That about sums it up.