Sunday, April 26, 2009

Time out for Tortorella

Perhaps the wiser course for Rangers head coach John Tortorella would have been to follow the advice that he had frequently given to troublesome child Sean Avery, just concentrate on the game and leave the stupid stove behind.

While Avery sat out game five Saturday for his misdeeds of game four, the coach was stepping over the NHL's line when it comes to personal contact with the fans.

Tortorella became involved in an incident behind the Rangers bench, where he sprayed some water and then launched a water bottle at a fan after becoming agitated with the fans behaviour. As it to accentuate his point, Tortorella also grabbed a hockey stick to poke over the glass before finally calming down after his assistants talked things over with him.

For his efforts on Friday night in Washington, Tortorella has been suspended, forced to sit out game six of the best of seven series, leaving it to his assistants to run the team and decide if Mr. Avery will get another chance in the line up in this first round series.

It's expected that Jim Schoenfeld will be behind the bench on Sunday afternoon when the Rangers make their next attempt to eliminate the Caps from the playoffs.

The timing of the suspension has a few fans surprised, but the NHL has been more than clear about these kind of situations in the past and really had no recourse but to act swiftly and with discipline.

Should the Caps survive game six and force a game seven, that elimination game will take place back in Washington, with Tortorella eligible to return to the bench. One suspects that security will be stepped up a fair amount should that game come to pass and Tortorella passes through DC one more time this spring.

New York Daily News-- Rangers coach John Tortorella suspended for Game 6 against Capitals
New York Times-- N.H.L. Suspends Rangers Coach Tortorella for Game 6
Globe and Mail-- Rangers coach suspended for aqua outburst
National Post-- Tortorella suspended for throwing bottle at fans

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