Tortorella thinks Capitals are whining about headhunting claims

April, 19, 2011
4/19/11
4:02
PM ET
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- John Tortorella responded on Tuesday to Washington coach Bruce Boudreau’s claim that the Rangers are targeting Mike Green’s head, saying that there is some whining going on as the two teams head into Game 4.

“We have confidence in the league. We have confidence in the officials that they won’t be influenced by all the whining going on here right now,” Tortorella said. “We’re staying away from it. And we’re focused on what we need to do. We have confidence in the league that this doesn’t affect the series. This is a pretty good series, two pretty good teams going at it pretty hard.”

Boudreau made his comments Monday, just one day after the Rangers sliced the Capitals' lead in the series to 2-1. Boudreau’s comments seemed to stem from Rangers defenseman Marc Staal hitting Green in the back of the head during a collision in the second period of Game 3. Boudreau said it was a blindsided and "dirty" hit and he hopes the league looks at it. He said Green, who missed a month and a half with a concussion during the regular season, is fine.

“Staal comes in, there’s no puck, he takes his arm, he swings it at his head, but it’s all forgotten because we score a goal to tie the game up, but it shouldn’t be forgotten and it wasn’t the only time they’ve targeted Mike’s head,” Boudreau said.

He later added: “[Green] took a high hit, they’re coming after him. [Brandon] Prust left his feet in the first period and went at the head as well. And Mike threw a punch back at him when he was gone. But this is stuff, I have no problem with hitting, let’s hit as hard as we can, that’s what this game is all about, but you cannot target the head.”

When asked about the hit on Monday, Staal said: “I remember the play, I came across, he was cutting in the middle, and I tried to finish him, but I haven’t seen it again,” Staal said.

In addition to his headhunting comments, Boudreau also ripped MSG Monday, saying to a radio station that the arena’s reputation exceeds its experience, ripped the locker rooms and team benches and said the fans don’t get that loud during the game.

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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