Tortorella to DeBoer: “Just shut up”


New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer had some harsh words for John Tortorella following Monday’s line brawl at MSG. He called the New York bench boss a “hypocrite” that might’ve had “short-term memory loss” for objecting to DeBoer starting all his tough guys.

Today, Tortorella offered a blunt response:

Shut up.

“I think Peter needs to jog his memory, as far as the starting lineups that I’ve put in in his building,” Tortorella told ESPN New York (the last time they played in New Jersey, the Rangers started Artem Anisimov, Derek Stepan and Marian Gaborik).

“And really, basically just shut up. And I need to also.”

Despite stressing the need to shut up, Tortorella wasn’t done talking.

“I think the situation last night was disrespectful to players, and I think we took a backwards step,” he continued. “I get put into a position when he puts a lineup out, that I’m not sure what’s going to happen if I put my top players out, so I have to answer the way I need to answer.

“Just look at the two lineups and some of the things he’s done through the games here. I don’t want to coach his team here, but just shut up.”

DeBoer opened last night’s contest with Eric Boulton, Ryan Carter and Cam Janssen up front — combined, they’ve fought 22 times this year — a response to the lineup Tortorella started on Dec. 20 at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. In that game, a 4-1 Rangers win, Torts started both Mike Rupp and Brandon Prust with Rupp and Janssen fighting three seconds into the first period.

That said, the Rangers head coach made it clear he doesn’t enjoy staged fights.

“Fighting’s part of the game, it’s a big part of the game, but it doesn’t need to be manufactured,” Tortorella said. “In that type of game — Jersey and the Rangers — there was going to be fights, but it’s really gotten old for me, the staged fights.

“That crap at the beginning of the game, to try to manipulate it into it, I just don’t think it’s right for the game. I think there’s enough of it and there always will be and there should be, but let the players decide.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record

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When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?

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You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.

Price paid: Devils come back against Condon, Canadiens

Mike Condon, John Moore,
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If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.

The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.

After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.

If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.

Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.

Metro’s best? Capitals keep winning, pass Rangers for division lead

Jonathan Bernier; Matt Niskanen; Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau

If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:

“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”

The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.

Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:

With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.

Measuring stick stretch begins

Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.

This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.

It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.

In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.