You’ll remember that despite several questions from myself and other members of the media post-game Monday, coach John Tortorella pretty much declined to discuss the lead-in to the opening puck-drop, six-player brawl.
But Devs coach Peter De Boer’s post-game comments brought out some fire in Tortorella Tuesday morning.
"I guess in John's world you can come into our building and start your tough guys, but we can't do the same in here,” De Boer told reporters Monday night. “He's either got short-term memory loss or he's a hypocrite."
Asked Tuesday about whether those remarks were fair, Tortorella said:
“I read it. I think Peter needs to jog his memory about the starting lineups that I put in over in their building and really, basically, just shut up. And I need to also, I’m just…I think the situation last night is disrespectful to players, and I think we took a backwards step. I get put in a position where he puts a lineup like that out, that I’m not sure what’s going to happen if I put my top players out, so I had to answer the way I think I have to answer but, really just look at the two lineups and some of the things he’s done through the games here. Again, I don’t want to coach his team, but just shut up...
"Fighting’s part of the game, a big part of the game, but it doesn’t need to be manufactured, and 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; nowadays in our league, if a guy gets hit hard, clean, everybody’s looking to fight, where hard checking and hard hitting is part of the game and 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. There’s enough of it, there always will be and there should be, I’m certainly not one of the pacifists who think fighting should be out of the game, but let the players decide. I don’t think coaches should be putting players in situations where it basically dictates fighting.”