Thursday, May 13, 2004

Miss Manners would be shocked!

Shut Your Yap! John Tortorella has gone into the corners with his elbows high as he verbally advised Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock to keep his opinions to himself. With tensions running a little high after the Bolts were run out of their own building on Monday night, the Lightning head coach decided to fire a few verbal shots over the good ship Flyer’s bow.

Tortorella was annoyed with Hitchcock’s verbal badgering of the Lightning players as game two wound down in the third period Monday, reminding Hitchcock that since he’s not on the ice to face the repercussions he should work on his shushing. As Tortorella pointed out both he and Hitchcock are wearing suits and standing behind a bench, there’s no need for him to get in the face of the Bolt players. “Park your ego, and put it in your pocket” the parting shots from the Tamp Bay coach. Hitchcock had but a simple line for his coaching counterpart, “Tell him to mind his own business.”

After he corrected Hitchcock’s incivility, he turned his attention towards Flyer GM Bob Clarke. Tortorella said the Bolts knew how the Flyers worked things, Clarke constantly chirping trying to get an edge with the refs, talking, talking, and talking. Whining about this, that and the other thing. Tortorella vowed not to let the verbal onslaught affect his team’s preparation, which is a good thing. His team needs to re-focus on the job at hand, after being supremely outplayed in Game 2. Their goaltender Nabakov sent to the bench midway through the second period after giving up four goals. The Lightning has found that their scoring attack has suddenly been stalled by a tight checking and heavy hitting Flyer line up.

Tampa who have played well on the road in the playoffs (4-0), takes to the ice Thursday as the Wachovia Centre where the Flyers haven’t lost yet (6-0). The Philly crowd will no doubt let Tortorella know that he’s been heard. What remains to be seen is whether the Bolts can do a little talking of their own, on the ice!

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