It’s Garbage


I honestly don’t know what I would do with myself if people who should know better would suddenly stop saying stupid things. The latest in the long list of people speaking out against the Penguins is John Tortorella. He also was subsequently fined, this time an impressive $20,000 for his remarks made during his post-game press conference following his Ranger’s uninspired 5-2 loss to the Pens on Thursday.

I’ll say this. I think Orpik should have received at the very least a fine. Really he probably should have had a one or two game suspension. I mean, Orpik is what he is, he’s a big hitter. He’s not a dangerous hitter, he has no reputation as a dirty player. Nonetheless, he did deserve some punishment. I’m disappointed in the NHL for not prosecuting on this issue. It’s true that the NHL didn’t prosecute against the Rangers and Mike Rupp earlier in the season after a similar incidental, but still dirty, hit on Jordan Staal that took him out of the lineup for several weeks. I mean it could be an “even-up” decision like we see in games, a questionable call for one team gets answered with an equally questionable one for the other team to keep things equal. Still, I wish they had done something with this hit just to shut the rest of the league up.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s fascinating to see Tortellini and Peter Laviolette fined for being the ultimate hypocrites. Complaining about the “whiny” Pittsburgh Penguins in the only way they know how—whining. I’m also really happy to see Dan Bylsma keeping his nose clean from these shenanigans or as Sid awesomely described it yesterday, “Garbage.”

Further, all I can say is that the more those coaches decide to pick on Sid and Geno, the more likely it becomes that they’re just going to piss them off. Given that Sid is still averaging more points per game (1.7) than we’ve seen in the league in a decade and a half, and Geno has absolutely embarrassed his scoring race competition (including Philly’s own Claude Giroux) despite playing half a dozen fewer games, it really seems like playing with fire to me. I mean I guess this is a calculated risk that these coaches need to take. But I just don’t buy it.

Call me old-fashioned, but I want to see the game played, and won or lost, on the ice. I have no problem with gamesmanship and I love the way the Pens handle it. By his own admission Crosby is big into participating in that, so is Matt Cooke, and Chris Kunitz and probably half a dozen other guys on the team. The same can be said of a bunch of guys who play for the Rangers and the Flyers. But that’s just it. It really should be left on the ice. Nothing says “whiny” more than taking your message and shoving it down the throat of everyone in your post-game comments. Just save it for the ice.

Also this is an interesting tidbit. In the entire history of the NHL there are only 5 American-born coaches who have ever won the Stanley Cup. The first was a guy named Bill Russell who won it in 1938. There was not another American to win it until “Badger” Bob Johnson with the Pens in 1991. From there you have to look forward to 2004 when none other than John Tortorella won it with the Lightning. 2006 saw Peter Laviolette become the 4th with the Carolina Hurricanes. The 5th is of course Dan Bylsma. In other words, there are only three American coaches currently living, and currently coaching, who have won the Stanley Cup. They all coach teams in the same division. These are the three best teams in the Eastern Conference this year. We’re only two years away from the 2014 Winter Olympics. All of these guys will likely be considered for the head coaching role for team USA, and they will all likely be considered to serve as assistants to whoever does get picked. Can you imagine what those planning sessions would be like? Wow. They would likely kill one another.


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