New York Rangers coach John Tortorella not only questioned a late-game, knee-on-knee hit by Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, but the fiery bench boss took it a few steps further Thursday night.
“It’s one of the most arrogant organizations in the league,” Tortorella said of the Penguins, who won 5-2 at Consol Energy Center. “They whine about this stuff all the time and look what happens. … They’ll whine about something else over there starting with their two (expletive) stars.”
Orpik received a five-minute kneeing major and a game misconduct for the hit on Rangers center Derek Stepan with 4:39 left in regulation. Stepan lay on the ice briefly but skated off under his own power. Tortorella did not have an update on Stepan’s status.
Stepan didn’t skate with the Rangers on Friday, although the injury isn’t believed to be serious.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Friday that Orpik didn’t have a hearing scheduled with NHL officials over the hit. Orpik declined to talk to reporters about what Tortorella called a “cheap, dirty hit.”
The Pens’ captain, however, had plenty to say after the team’s practice in Southpointe, Penn.
“You can put a camera on us all game,” said Sidney Crosby, who, along with Evgeni Malkin, was likely the two “stars” Tortorella was referring to. “Put a camera on (Rangers forward Ryan) Callahan all game. We’ll see who is (whining) more. He should worry about his own players.
“I don’t know when this all started. If this is part of the new tactics heading into the playoffs, it’s garbage. The game is played on the ice. You get all this stuff going on and it’s really nonsense. If they want to do it, great. They’re just trying to gain an advantage, (but) it’s getting old.”
As far as the whining allegations, Crosby said there was some threat of truth to that — early in his career.
“I’ll be the first one to admit it that for the first couple years I was pretty hard on the refs,” Crosby said. “I have come a long way since then.”