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New York Rangers: Did John Tortorella Take Joe Thornton's Comments Too Far?

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 19:  Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks hits Brandon Dubinsky #17 of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on October 19, 2009 in New York, New York. The Sharks defeated the Rangers 7-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Nicholas GossCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2016

San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton called the New York Rangers "soft" after the Blueshirts beat the Sharks 5-2 at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.

"They were probably the softest team we played on the trip," Thornton said. "We should have had these two points." 

Thornton might have just been angry that the Sharks were soundly beaten, and his words were likely said in frustration. The Rangers aren't a soft team, and I think many would agree.

Rangers head coach John Tortorella responded to Thornton's comments of his team the next day, and wasn't too pleased.

Here's the full quote:

"It surprised me, and I've never heard a player say that," Tortorella told reporters after Tuesday's practice, according to the New York Daily News. "Joe's a heck of a player, but here's a player popping off about our team, and Joe hasn't won a god d--- 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."

I understand Tortorella is a fiery guy and coaches with a lot if passion, but he took this one a little too far. Calling a player out for never winning anything is uncalled for, when in fact nearly every good Rangers player on their current roster hasn't won a Stanley Cup either.

Thornton was just calling the team soft, and wasn't saying anything about winning or the playoffs and stuff like that.

Joe is also a superstar player, and his skills and career are respected among the NHL. What he said wasn't very classy and should not have been said, but Tortorella was out of line.

Saying Thornton could be one of the best players to never win anything has no place in the league. The media can make those remarks but not a coach of an actual team.

I understand Tortorella sticking up for his team, and it's quite difficult to ignore someone when they call out your toughness, especially in the sport of hockey.

People will say that Joe Thornton is soft and that he has no business telling other players and teams that they in fact are soft. However, Thornton showed a ton of toughness in the playoffs last season when he led the Sharks to the Western Conference Finals versus the Vancouver Canucks.

At the end of the day, Tortorella should have shown a bit more respect to one of the NHL's top players. Thornton was wrong for what he said, but Tortorella took it further than it needed to go.

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