Well, today was break-up day for the Rangers, and coach John Tortorella finally addressed his suspension for Game 6. You can read the full extent of what he said at any of the beat writer blogs (links on the right). I’m not going to copy and paste it.
I must say, it’s about damn time that he responded to this. He took full responsibility for his actions, and made hiumself accountable for his mistakes, which is something that he preaches. He was definitely wrong in his actions, and it’s great that he finally admitted his mistakes, but his suspension didn’t really have an effect on the outcome of Game 6. Losing 5-1 is domination, not a simple coaching mismatch. And plus, it’s not like Jim Schoenfeld is a slouch behind the bench, he’s a former head coach who has been with the Rangers for a decade and probably knows the players better than anyone.
He also spoke on the Avery benching, also on the beat writers’ blogs, saying that he would do it again if necessary. I still say kudos to him for benching Sean Avery, because it was clear that he needed a day off just to relax from the obvious bias against him. It worked, and Avery was one of the best, if not the best, Ranger skater in Game 7.
It took a while for Torts to discuss these issues, his reasoning being that he didn’t want to distract the team from the task at hand, but it was a distraction already, so maybe just being open right away would have helped. You can’t fault him for not wanting to take the spotlight though.