For the second time this week, Dan Bylsma has faced sharp criticism from an opposing coach.
And for the second time, Bylsma’s brushed it off.
That’s what transpired on Friday following Penguins practice, as the Pittsburgh head coach put John Tortorella’s comments — saying Pittsburgh was an arrogant organization — into context.
“We’ve seen that in the last week all over with gamesmanship,” Bylsma told Penguins Report. “Trying to talk to, at and through different mediums to the team, referees and who might be listening to some of the talk. That’s all it is: gamesmanship.
“They’re trying to have an effect where I’m not sure they can have an effect. I think it’s gamesmanship and they’re trying to have someone hear them. Whether it’s the referees or whom I don’t know.”
Still, Bylsma couldn’t resist giving Torts a slight shot.
“His postgame comments for a lot of games this year, we’ve heard different things from hits, starting lineups, how referees ends games,” Bylsma said. “It’s part of his coaching manual to go off.”
Known throughout his career as a cool customer, the Penguins head coach has been extra cool this past week. He didn’t bite when Flyers coach Peter Laviolette called him “gutless” after Sunday’s melee; he also kept quiet after defenseman Matt Niskanen was knocked out of action by Boston’s Dan Paille (Paille got a charging penalty on the hit.)
The way Bylsma sees it, there’s no sense in getting caught-up in extracurricular activity.
“In every series, and the series coming up, one team will win four games, there will be a handshake,” he said. “One side will wish the other side luck in the next round. The other side will go on. That will happen on the ice. We’re going to have a whale of a series. We respect [the Flyers]. We have a great adversary.
“There is a storyline going on and it will be played out on the ice.”