Generally speaking, you’re not going to look very bright when you blast a team that just beat you, as Joe Thornton did when he called the New York Rangers the “softest team” the San Jose Sharks played during their six-game road trip. To little surprise, Thornton backpedaled a bit later on, as he admitted to CSNBayArea.com’s Kevin Kurz that he said “a boneheaded thing” on Monday night.
Naturally, Thornton only offered a “no comment” to John Tortorella’s predictably hilarious response, which included an equally predictable reference to Thornton’s lack of a Stanley Cup ring.
In making those emotional comments, Jumbo Joe’s real goal should be clear: he wanted his team to play harder after getting outplayed by a team that looks less impressive on paper. It just so happened that he put his foot in his mouth in the process, encouraging Ray Ratto and others to wonder if it was a bad move by the Sharks’ captain.
To me, it just speaks to the reason why reporters interview athletes right after games. Every now and then, the post-game anger erases cliches and we get to hear how players really feel, even if those feelings aren’t always very rational.
Thornton would be wise not to justify such journalistic aims in the future, though – especially not in New York.