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Friday, April 6, 2012
Bylsma calls Tortorella rant "gamesmanship"

By Katie Strang

Even-keeled Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has remained pretty neutral in facing the numerous barbs launched in his direction of late, but he fired back Friday at Rangers coach John Tortorella.

When asked about Tortorella's post-game rant Thursday night, in which he called Brooks Orpik's hit on Derek Stepan "dirty" and called the Penguins an "arrogant organization," Bylsma offered up his explanation.

"We’ve seen that in the last week all over with gamesmanship and trying to talk to, at and through different mediums to the team, referees and who might be listening to some of the talk. That’s all it is: gamesmanship," he said, according to the Penguins' team website. "They’re trying to have an effect where I’m not sure they can have an effect. I think it’s gamesmanship and they’re trying to have someone hear them. Whether it’s the referees or whom I don’t know."

Bylsma also used the opportunity to take a shot at Tortorella's fiery demeanor, brushing off the outburst as commonplace.

"His postgame comments for a lot of games this year, we’ve heard different things from hits, starting lineups, how referees ends games," he said. "It’s part of his coaching manual to go off there."