Tortorella fumes over Orpik hit: “Imagine if it happened to one of their (bleeping) superstars”


The Pittsburgh Penguins can reasonably be called media darlings, but they’re far from angels. A questionable Brooks Orpik knee-to-knee hit on Derek Stepan during Pittsburgh’s 5-2 win has the New York Rangers fuming, with outspoken head coach John Tortorella leading the way.

Here’s a greatest hits collection of quotes via Steve Zipay:

“It’s one of the most arrogant organizations in the league. They whine about this stuff all the time and look what happens,” Tortorella said. “Imagine if it happened to one of their (bleepin) superstars.”

Jeez, Torts just never cuts to the core of a situation, does he? Always beating around the bush. A diplomat from birth.

Before we move on to the more specific “criticisms” of Orpik’s hit, you might want to judge it on your own. Check out video of that knee-to-knee below:

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Torts didn’t just snipe at the Penguins’ “whining” superstars, referring to Orpik’s check as a “cheap, dirty hit” while going back to the widely held point that there’s “no respect among players.” Zipay reports that Martin Biron was far from effusive about Orpik, as well.

So the natural question is: should Orpik be suspended? If so, for how long?

As Jason and Mike discussed on TV yesterday, the Penguins are already going into the highly probable Philadelphia Flyers series with some targets on their stars’ backs. (Tonight’s win assures that the Penguins will have the fourth seed.) If Pittsburgh meets the Rangers later on, they might as well just keep the bulls-eyes attached.

Here are highlights from the game:

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Check out this East update, including Pittsburgh clinching the fourth seed:

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Mike Rupp’s knee-to-knee hit on Jordan Staal


As we discussed earlier, Pittsburgh Penguins center Jordan Staal left tonight’s 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers thanks to a knee-to-knee hit by Mike Rupp. Rupp received a two-minute kneeing penalty for that interchange.

Was it a dirty play or just a regrettable accident? You be the judge:

There hasn’t been an update regarding Staal’s status yet, but it would be surprising if he plays for Pittsburgh on Saturday.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner for video link.)

Logan Couture unlikely to return during Leafs-Sharks game after knee-to-knee hit from Colton Orr

San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture has arguably been the best rookie in the NHL so far this season (just look at the mid-season awards that Joe and I handed out). Hopefully tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs won’t derail that potential Calder Trophy-worthy season.

Couture left tonight’s game after what looked like a scary knee-to-knee hit from Leafs tough guy Colton Orr. It’s unclear how severe the situation is for Couture, although he was questionable to return for tonight’s game. (As far as the legality of the hit, it’s hard to say if Couture didn’t put himself in a bad spot by trying to go around Orr.)

We’ll let you know if any updates surface regarding his situation. Hopefully Couture’s great season won’t hit a road bump after this hit.

Andrei Markov leaves game against Hurricanes with injured knee

It seems like Andrei Markov just cannot buy a break. Unless you’re making some kind of cruel play on words when it comes to injuries, that is.

In fact, this story’s photo was taken during a different injury that forced others to help him off of the ice.

According to various sources, Markov left the Montreal Canadiens’ game against the Carolina Hurricanes with what looks like a knee injury. He was helped off the ice after receiving a knee-to-knee hit from Hurricanes captain Eric Staal. (Here’s a link to the Youtube video of the hit for now, we should be able to post a working one soon.)

Markov has been dealing with a slew of injuries, including knee problems stemming from a clean hit he received from Pittsburgh Penguins ruffian Matt Cooke. Various ailments limited him to only 45 regular season games played in 2009-10 and only six of the team’s 17 games so far this season.

It’s too early for there to be any concrete word on the severity of Markov’s injury, so we’ll pass along an update once we know more.