Tortorella goes on tirade about Penguins

Tortorella goes on tirade about Penguins
April 6, 2012, 4:22 pm
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If Rangers coach John Tortorella gets his wish, the Penguins will be without one of their key defensemen when the Flyers meet them in Game 1 of the playoffs next week in Pittsburgh.

Brooks Orpik had a knee-on-knee hit with New Yorks Derek Stepan during Thursdays 5-2 Pens win in Pittsburgh.

Tortorella wants the NHL to suspend Orpik and pretty much challenged the league not to bow to a club that many consider sometimes get handled with care.

As of early Friday afternoon, NHL Lord of Discipline, Brendan Shanahan, had not issued a fine or suspension to Orpik.

It's a cheap, dirty hit, Tortorella said. I wonder what would happen if we did it to their two whining stars over there? I wonder what would happen?

So I'm anxious to see what happens with the league with this. Just no respect amongst players. None. It's sickening.

Presumably, the two whining stars are Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

We watched the replay and agree with the Rangers television broadcasters Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti. On one replay, it seems like an accidental collision.

From another angle, however, it appears that Orpik stuck out his right knee to get Stepan on his left and the Ranger forward cut right-to-left to get around him near the side boards.

This is the second time this week that a Penguin has been involved in a knee-on-knee hit. In last Sundays Flyers game, also in Pittsburgh, forward Joe Vitale had knee-on-knee contract with Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann.

Grossmann sustained a suspected sprained, right knee and will wear a brace on it when the playoffs begin. Officially, the Flyers are saying nothing, but Grossmann is expected to play in Game 1.

Now, when Torts was asked about the lack of respect among so many NHL players, he went off on the Penguins, a second time.

Ask the guy who did it, he said. Ask him. It's one of the most arrogant organizations in the league. They whine about this stuff all the time, and look what happens.

It's ridiculous. But they'll whine about something else over there, won't they? Starting with their two expletive stars.

Incidentally, Rangers backup goalie Marty Biron, who played in that game, termed the hit, gutless and dirty.

E-mail Tim Panaccio at tpanotch@comcast.net

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