John Tortorella is never one to mince words, and he let it be known that he wasn't exactly happy with Brooks Orpik or his Pittsburgh Penguins after Orpik delivered a knee-on-knee hit to Rangers forward Derek Stepan.
Torts: "Just no respect amongst players, none. It's sickening." #NYR— Pat Leonard (@NYDNRangers) April 6, 2012
Oh, and that was the tame part.
The full quote via the Bergen Record:
"Absolutely, it's a cheap, dirty hit," Tortorella said, his voice rising. "I wonder what would happen if we did it to their two whining stars over there, I wonder what would happen? So I'm anxious to see what happens with the league with this. Just no respect among players, none. It's sickening."
By now, Tortorella is screaming and he just gets more upset when he's asked why he thinks players don't show respect for one another.
"Ask the guy who did it, ask him," Tortorella said. "It's one of the most arrogant organizations in the league. They whine about this stuff all the times and look what happens. It's ridiculous, but they'll whine about something else over there, won't they? Starting with their two (bleepin') stars."
UPDATE: Here's video of Torts with the media. You do not want to anger John Tortorella.
It's the second time in a week that a divisional rival has come out and made comments regarding those two Pittsburgh stars, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Following last Sunday's game between the Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers, Philly assistant coach Craig Berube called the pair "two of the dirtiest players on their hockey team."
It's also the second time in a week that a Penguin has taken out an opposing player with a knee-on-knee hit. Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann is optimistic that he will play in the postseason (against Pittsburgh in Round 1, oddly enough), but he left Sunday's game early after Joe Vitale caught him with a knee. It was tough to see any intent on that play and no discipline was handed out.
But this incident Thursday night stemmed from Orpik, not Crosby, Malkin or Vitale. Rangers goaltender Martin Biron added to what his coach had to say, proclaiming that Orpik's "known for sticking his leg out" and that it was a "gutless, dirty" hit. Do you agree? To the video...
It certainly looks like Orpik stuck the knee out to initiate contact on this one. As far as the history Biron was referring to, Orpik delivered a knee-on-knee hit to Johan Franzen back in the 2010 preseason, and he infamously broke Erik Cole's neck in 2006 with a brutal hit along the boards. Orpik's a physical player and has crossed the line before, but it's also worth noting that there are plenty of clean hits on his resume as well.
There's no word yet on Stepan's status. He did not return to the game.