The smoke has cleared and the dust has settled on another installment of the NHL's annual Winter Classic. This year, it pitted the Philadelphia Flyers hosting the New York Rangers in a hated rivalry at Citizens Bank Park outdoors on January 2nd, 2012. It started out with a goaltending controversy on the Flyers side. That is all but the past after what John Tortorella said in the post game press conference. Despite the Rangers emotional come-from-behind win, Tortorella was quick to mention the officiating. He mentioned that NBC and the referees could have got together and planned to try to force an overtime. He referred to the third period as "disgusting". Everyone has seen the press conference. Its in the video above, but the question here remains: Was he right or wrong for what he said? Is the NHL upset because Tortorella called them out? Is the NHL trying to save face?
The coach received a fine of $30,000 which has been referred to as 'significant'. He makes little reference about the officiating and what transpired and he moved on. The coach is known for being firey. But with the NHL suspending and fining everyone, where is the integrity? This league reminds me too much of the NFL this season. Everything is a fineable offense. This post itself could land me a fine from the NHL. Tortorella was not wrong saying what he said because we all watched the horrible officiating on National TV with our own eyes. A penalty shot with 19 seconds remaining says enough. Henrik Lundqvist said himself "it would have been tough to swallow" referring to the chance that the Flyers could have scored a goal.
Whether or not you or I agree, or the NHL disagrees which they obviously do, what was said is said, the penalty is served, and it is not going to stop Tortorella from saying what he wants. He is a stickler for holding people accountable for their actions and the NHL and the referees were the goats on this one. I have been a big supporter of the NHL since the end of the lockout and I have to agree with Tortorella on this one. The officiating was disgusting, the double call at the end of the third landing Callahan in the box may have been the right call which caused a 4 on 4, but a penalty shot? The Rangers remain in first place in the East with a 24-9-4 record for 52 pts. The Winter Classic win leaves them 4 points ahead of Philadelphia for the Atlantic Division lead and coach John Tortorella a little lighter in the wallet.