John Tortorella vs. The Media: Round Two

New York Hockey DailyContributor IMarch 26, 2010

WASHINGTON - APRIL 15:  Head Coach John Tortorella of the New York Rangers discuses strategy during a stoppage of play against the Washington Capitals during Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 15, 2009 at the Verizon Center in Washington,  DC.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)
Len Redkoles/Getty Images

Earlier this season, John Tortorella had a run-in with NY Post writer Larry Brooks, seen here, and last night Torts had another run-in—this time with Journal News writer Rick Carpiniello after Carp questioned his overtime strategy.

This entire ordeal started on March 8 after the Rangers had lost two-out-of-three games in overtime and on his blog Carpiniello suggested that Tortorella was being too passive with the Rangers during overtime. He recommended that Tortorella try something that he did back while he was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, use three forwards during overtime.

After last night’s overtime win against the Devils, Carpiniello mentioned his idea to Tortorella and it didn’t go over well. Here’s more from Carpiniello’s blog :

So I asked Tortorella after the game tonight (after he started Christensen and Gaborik for the OT), if he ever considered using three forwards in OT, something, by the way, that he did in Tampa.

“No, Carpy. No,” he said, then looked away for another question. I got the feeling he wasn’t done. I just wondered if it was going to reach Larry Brooks proportions. Would he ask me if I’ve ever been in a fight? (I have, but it sure has been a while).

“You have a pretty good goalie,” he said. “I know you’ve talked about that. You do a lot of…you throw a lot of things out there and you really don’t think. You really don’t think.”

I thought I’d keep it light instead of going back at him. So I said, “That’s not my job.”

He got angrier.

“Obviously, it isn’t,” he said.

Here is the video of the event (the run-in starts at 1:30):

 

Carpiniello tried to downplay this entire ordeal, and on its own, it really isn’t a big deal, but it is part of a disturbing trend within the organization. This seems like an organization that doesn’t care much for accountability. The team is stuck in the mire of mediocrity and seems to be going nowhere fast. During this time the owner is nowhere to be seen, the general manager never talks to the press, which might be for the best since the coach seems ready at the drop of a hat to fight the press.

It’s no wonder that most of the time the players seem not to care about the team since from the owner on down seems willing to even be questioned. And if you do have the guts to question their strategy, their enforcer, Tortorella, will challenge you to a fight.

To me, this seems like the exact opposite way to run an organization and it is no wonder they are having a hard time putting out a consistently good hockey team. At times, I wonder if a James Dolan-owned team could win a championship, but I try not to linger on a question like that because it is unlikely that he’s going to sell the team anytime soon.

What do you think? Is this just a minor infraction or evidence of a lurking larger problem? We’d like to hear from you.

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