The NHL won’t be happy with a few of the post-Winter Classic comments made by the winning coach and general manager.
When asked about the officiating in the third period of the Rangers’ 3-2 victory over the Flyers at Citizens Bank Park, coach John Tortorella called it “disgusting.”
In the last five minutes, New York was penalized three times – for delay of game, holding the stick, and covering the puck in the crease, the latter of which led to a Philadelphia penalty shot with 20 seconds left.
Apparently Tortorella smelled something fishy about the Flyers being down a goal, playing outdoors in a packed baseball stadium, millions watching on TV, and – hey, wouldn’t you know it – the home team keeps getting all the calls.
“Maybe [the referees] wanted to get it to an overtime,” Tortorella quipped. “I’m not sure if they have meetings about that or what.”
Meanwhile, GM Glen Sather was equally apoplectic.
“You see three or four calls that are enough to blow your mind,” Sather told The Record.
Don’t be surprised if Tortorella gets fined for his comments. The NHL doesn’t need its officiating called into question following the showpiece game of the regular season.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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