The New York Rangers may have won the 2012 NHL Winter Classic, but that doesn't mean they were completely happy with the way things played out on the Citizens Bank Park ice. That penalty shot in the final minute? Yeah, John Tortorella wasn't exactly happy with it.
"I'm not sure if NBC got together with the refs or what to turn this into an overtime game," Torts said after his teams 3-2 win, in a half-joking tone highlighted by a twinge of austerity. "Starting with the non-call, Gabby's walking in and he gets pitch-forked in the stomach and then everything starts going against us.
"They're two good referees, but I thought that game was reffed horribly. I'm not sure what happened there. Maybe they wanted to get it to an overtime. I'm not sure if they have meetings about that or what. But we stood in there, we stood in there. And again, I don't wanna, cause they're good guys. In that third period, it was disgusting."
Mike Rupp, who turned out to be the hero of the evening for the Rangers, wasn't quite as harsh as his head coach.
"Those are calls that are made," Rupp said, referring to the penalty shot. "The referees are calling it as they see it. It's unfortunate, we didn't know if we really deserved it, but Hanky's a big time goalie and he came through big."
Henrik Lundqvist certainly did prove that he's a big time goalie in the game -- not that he really has anything to prove at this point in his career -- and the penalty shot was only the latest example. Lundqvist could feel the pressure when Danny Briere stepped to center ice, but luckily he was able to get over the shock of the call by the time Briere skated in on goal.
"I can't believe they even called a penalty shot, but it was exciting," he said. "It was just a big scramble. They tried to get pucks in front, and I didn't even see the puck. I just stretched out my right leg and tried to stay on the post there, and then I heard the whistle and the ref, 'penalty shot.' I couldn't believe it. "
Despite the incredulity from the Rangers, it was a very borderline play from Ryan McDonagh that forced the penalty shot call. Camera angles weren't all that conclusive, but McDonagh definitely touched the puck with his hand in the crease as it was moving toward the goal line.
For more on this year's Winter Classic, head over to SB Nation's Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter and Flyers blog Broad Street Hockey. For everything Winter Classic in the build-up to the game, head over to our NHL Winter Classic StoryStream.