Following Thursday’s loss to the Flyers — dropping the Rangers to 1-3 on the year — John Tortorella was asked about his team’s fitness level to start the season.
Apparently, Torts didn’t like the query.
“That’s a stupid question,” Tortorella said (courtesy NY Times). “This team is in shape as far as what we’ve started with here, as far as how it’s happened with the lockout.
“That’s just a dumb question.”
While it’s understandable Tortorella was frustrated after a third loss in four games, he’s way off base here — especially because he opened the door to this line of questioning with comments he made during the lockout.
In October, Tortorella told the New York Post he was concerned his team might suffer physically because of the long layoff.
“To be quite honest, it worries me,” Tortorella said. “When our guys report to camp in September under normal circumstances, they have a physical and mental edge from preparing for our testing that’s extremely important to the way we go about our business as a hockey club.”
So…you admit concern about losing a physical edge because of the lockout, but when someone asks a follow-up question to a topic you brought up, it’s stupid?
That isn’t right.
It’s also a fair question from a logistical standpoint. Only a handful of Rangers played overseas during the lockout and the over-30 set (Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Henrik Lundqvist, Mike Rupp) didn’t play at all.
Questions about their conditioning are legit.
Of course, this whole incident will likely be dismissed as the latest example of Torts being Torts. As we saw on Sunday, he’s already in midseason form — so another rip job shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.