Friday, April 28, 2006

Tortorella's Comments Over The Line

In the Lightning/Senators series, I couldn’t just stand by and let Tampa Bay’s head coach John Tortorella throw goaltender John Grahame under the bus with his post-game comments. Tortorella ripped his goaltender a new one…

“’I thought we were playing very well and then three goals on four shots,’ Tortorella said. ‘That really deflates a hockey team there." … "A save would be nice, ‘Tortorella said. ‘They're a good hockey team. They've got quality players. It's just deflating to see 17 shots and four goals in the net, eh? Let's call a spade a spade. That's a tough thing.’ More Tortorella: ‘Again, we need an occasional save. Listen, Johnny [Grahame] is trying like hell, but four goals on 17 shots? I'm a little tired of the 25 percent rule.’” –St. Petes Times

Hey John, how about criticizing your defense, or the lack of an offense? Three of those 4 goals were off of defensive miscues that left Grahame high and dry. I thought Grahame was just as good as Ray Emery was in the Sens net.

I can understand Tortorella’s frustration, the Lightning are the defending Stanley Cup Champions. He at least wants to make the series interesting instead of letting the Senators walk all over his club. But if you’re going to express team, embarrassing your goaltender doesn’t really express a team feeling.

Now you create a situation where you question Grahame’s play and his loyalty. Who would want to come back and play for a coach after that? Hopefully the Sens end this quickly so both Tortorella and Grahame can just get a few months off to cool off.

In other news, the best series to watch thus far has been the Edmonton/Detroit match up. I was really surprised at the Oilers play, as are the Red Wings. But this series epitomizes the NHL playoffs. The hitting is hard and legal, the goals have been big, and it’s been the coaching chess match with the intensity of spontaneous play.

My wife doesn’t understand my late night vigils to watch this series, but this series has been anything but dull. I should have pick the Oilers in 7, but I still think Detroit will pull out a win.

On the flip side, the Rangers/Devils series is becoming quite the bore. With Jaromir Jagr taking a awkward jab at a Devil and possibly dislocating his shoulder (we have to guess because we won’t get a word about it from the Rangers training staff), the Devils have just steamrolled the Rangers.

It’s pretty much how I expected it to go, but I don’t feel the rivalry from these clubs that are just a short drive away from each other’s rink. I knew the Rangers weren’t going to make it past the Devils in this series, but I would figure they would put up some kind of fight. The honeymoon between New York and Jagr may be over.

Colorado is in a position tonight to eliminate Dallas which has also been a surprise considering how beat up the Aves are. Dallas just doesn’t look good. I actually think the Aves can wrap up this series at home and sweep the Stars.

Here’s the rest of the series breakdowns from Yahoo Sports:

Eastern Conference: Canadiens/Hurricanes, Flyers/Sabres

Western Conference: Ducks/Flames, Sharks/Predators

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