In this morning’s collection of notable NHL headlines: Rangers coach calls out Sharks’ Joe Thornton for disparaging remarks…Capitals coach benches Alexander Ovechkin…Ducks ageless winger Teemu Selanne continues his high-scoring ways…Andy Sutton suspended for five games…Devils struggling to score…Ville Leino has slow start with Sabres…Sean Avery cleared re-entry waivers.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers outspoken head coach John Tortorella wasn’t pleased with San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton calling the Blueshirts “soft” following his club’s loss to the Rangers earlier this week.
“It caught me off guard when Stan [Fischler] brought it up after the game,’’ Tortorella said. “It surprised me. I never heard a player say that. Joe’s a heckuva player. But here’s a player popping off about our team.
“Joe hasn’t won a damned thing in this league. He could go down as 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. I’ve never had it happen like that before.’’
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a shame these teams aren’t in the same conference, or division, because this could’ve turned into one of the biggest rivalries of the season! Whether you love or hate Tortorella, you’ve gotta admit, his outspokenness can be entertaining. As much as I hate to say it, Tortorella’s got a point regarding Thornton.
WASHINGTON POST: Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau raised eyebrows when he benched captain Alexander Ovechkin in the final minute of their game against the Anaheim Ducks to force overtime, which the Capitals subsequently did en route to a 5-4 overtime victory.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will get played up by the press, but Boudreau isn’t afraid to let his players know who’s boss, and to let them know when he doesn’t think one of them is playing well, even the franchise player. I know, some folks will say, “don’t show up your franchise guy”, but Boudreau’s there to coach, to have the best players on the ice in key situations, and in his opinion, Ovechkin wasn’t among his best in that particular game. The fact the Capitals rallied to tie, force overtime and win only justified his judgement in this case.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Teemu Selanne currently leads the Anaheim Ducks in scoring, with 14 points in twelve games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Why is this notable? Because he’s 41 friggin’ years old, that’s why! He’s outscoring teammates who are in their twenties. He’s also currently among the top ten scorers in the league. Yes, yes, I know, only early in the season, he probably won’t maintain that pace…but I wouldn’t bet against “The Finnish Flash”.
KUKLA’S KORNER: The NHL has suspended Edmonton Oilers defenseman for five games for an illegal hit to the head of Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good call by the league, as Sutton had plenty of time to avoid contact with Landeskog’s head.
NEW YORK POST: The New Jersey Devils are struggling to score this season, giving rise to concerns the same problems which bedeviled them last season are happening again.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a problem which could force GM Lou Lamoriello into the trade market. They can’t blame this on the coach, as the loss of Travis Zajac hurts their first line production.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Former Flyers forward Ville Leino is struggling with his new team, the Buffalo Sabres.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres definitely haven’t got their money’s worth from Leino, whom they signed for big bucks as a UFA this summer.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers forward Sean Avery passed unclaimed through re-entry waivers yesterday and will rejoin their lineup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Is anyone honestly surprised by this? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?