It is actually unbelievable, isn’t it, that John Tortorella hasn’t issued a public apology, a mea culpa, for A) hitting a woman in the head with a water bottle and B) being suspended for Game 6 of a playoff series after talking about discipline? That he feels no need to make amends with the fans?
Here is the news from today: Blair Betts has a broken orbital bone in addition to a concussion. So he’s out long term. Donald Brashear has a hearing with the NHL today regarding the hit — which Tortorella said was not an elbow, but said it was “a head shot and late.”
Artem Anisimov was recalled from Hartford, but Tortorella is not sure if he will play, or if both Colton Orr and Aaron Voros will be in the lineup.
I’ll be back shortly with some quotes, especially Tortorella refusing to talk about his suspension, in confrontational fashion.
Here, though, is the quote of the day, from Brandon Dubinsky, who had his right wrist wrapped, where he was allegedly bitten by Shoane Morrisonn (who denied it) in Game 6, and received a tetanus shot and antibiotics:
“The last time I saw that happen was Mike Tyson biting Evander Holyfield … in a sporting event, that is.”
AFTERNOON UPDATE, 12:44 P.M.: Here’s the text of Larry Brooks of the Post having the guts to go face-to-face with Tortorella, and Tortorella stubbornly refusing to take any responsibility, or to be accountable, for his actions in D.C. that left his team short-handed for a crucial playoff game:
LB: Your response to being suspended?
JT: “I have no response. I’m not discussing that.”
LB: “You’re not discussing the fact that you were suspended for a playoff game?”
JT: “That’s just what I said. I’m not discussing that. Next question.”
LB: “You’re unbelievable, John. Unbelievable.”
JT: “You guys have your opinions on that, write ‘em.”
LB: “So, like, a player commits a mistake during a game, he doesn’t have an obligation to talk about it?”
JT: “You guys think you’re entitled to all information, Larry. I’m not giving you any information.”
LB: “I’m not asking for information. I’m asking your opinion of being suspended in the middle of a playoff series.”
JT: “You have an opinion. You don’t need me in the conversation.”
LB: “I need your opinion.”
JT: “You don’t need mine, and I’m not gonna give it to you. Next question, please.”
On Brashear clobbering Betts: “It’s a head shot and it’s late. It’s definitely not an elbow, but it’s a head shot and it’s awful late.”
On Game 6: “I thought we played a good first period. We made two key mistakes and they ended up in our net. … then we lost ourselves in the second. … we made some key mistakes where really we blew ourselves up.”
On the offense: “We are what we are. We struggle to score goals. It’s gone on all year long, and we need to try to get a lead in Game 7 here, just for the mindset of the hockey club. That’s what it effects — your mindset.
On Lundqvist: “Concerns about Hank? Well, Hank’s got to play better and he knows that. … but with Hank, and the reason I’m not talking to him, is he battles. He gets it. And for us to have an opportunity he has to be really good. Like, early in the series he was really good, and that’s why we have an opportunity to play a Game 7, because he won some of those early games.
“It’s been a little bit of a fight here, but i don’t have to say one word to him. He gets it, and that’s what I like about him. I know the fight that he has in him.”
On Avery: “Sean’s a guy that in yesterday’s game I thought was good in spurts. He’ll be better in Game 7. He’ll be better in Game 7.”
On the effort of his best players: “I don’t think it has to do with effort. It’s just simple. We had some chances to finish and we didn’t get it done. I’ll tell you when I watch it, I know it’s not effort. I’m not saying all of them, and I’m not going to give you names, but I most of our guys are trying — our top players. So it’s a matter of feeling the pressure a little bit, to score a big goal at a key time. They care. I’m not going ot say these guys don’t care. They don’t like being embarrassed in their own building … it’s been a fight. I know it’s been a fight prior to when I came here, and it’s been a fight since I came, too.”
On Game 7: “The greatest thing is, I woke up this morning and you’re upset, and yeah, you blow a 3-1 lead in the series, and it’s 3-3. But we come here to prepare to play a Game 7. We go into their building, and we’ve won two games there.
“They have the advantage because it’s home ice. I’ve said, home-ice in Game 7 … but it’s funny what happens with the pressure and all. They’re supposed to win. I bet I can poll everybody here and nobody thought we’d get to a Game 7 in teh series when it started.”
When a few writers claimed they picked Capitals in 7, Tortorella smiled and said, “Then I’ll poll you right now, who thinks we’re going to win tomorrow?”
And when nobody raised a hand, he said, “There we go.
“I appreciate your honesty, but there’s no pressure on us. We’re going to go there and compete in a Game 7 because everybody thinks we’re done. And it falls back on them. … It’s funny what happens with the pressure.”
On the team being ready to go tomorrow:
“Again, we’ve got the wrong people on the bus if we have to go in there with a big speech as far as getting them ready to play.”
As far as feeling safe on the bench: “Oh. yeah. I’m sure it’ll be fine. That isn’t even in my mind. This is Game 7 and the only focus is the hockey team.”