Joe Thornton angers John Tortorella

Updated: November 2, 2011, 1:40 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

New York Rangers coach John Tortorella didn't take kindly to San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton calling his team "soft" following New York's 5-2 victory over San Jose on Monday night.

"It surprised me, and I've never heard a player say that," Tortorella told reporters after Tuesday's practice, according to the New York Daily News. "Joe's a heck of a player, but here's a player popping off about our team, and Joe hasn't won a god d--- thing in this league. He could go down as a player, being one of the better players in our league never to win anything. So what he should do is just shut up. It was uncalled for, it was classless, and I've never had it happen like that before."

Thornton took a shot at the Rangers after the game, the Sharks' first loss on their six-game road trip.

"They were probably the softest team we played on the trip," Thornton said. "We should have had these two points."

When told about Thornton's jab after the game, Tortorella responded, "Wonderful." At that point, he declined to comment further.

Since Tortorella has taken over behind the bench, the Rangers have become a hard-working, blue-collar bunch that likes to forecheck and drive the net, so it isn't surprising that their coach took offense to the comments.

During his 14-year career, Thornton has been over a point-per-game performer (1,009 points in 1,004 games), but he's never won the Stanley Cup, which some believe severely tarnishes his legacy.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from ESPN NewYork.com's Katie Strang was used in this report.

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