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No Torts: Good or Bad for the Caps?

The NHL announced last night that Rangers Coach John Tortorella had been suspended for one game for squirting a fan with water and throwing a water bottle into the crowd Friday night at Verizon Center.

The Rangers lead the Caps, 3-2, in their quarterfinal series and have a chance to eliminate Washington with a win in Game 6 this afternoon at Madison Square Garden. But can they do it without their head coach behind the bench?

Some say Tortorella's absence could actually inspire New York to play harder. Plus, assistant and former head coach of four NHL teams (including the Caps from 1994-97) Jim Schoenfeld is more than capable of taking over. (As long as he doesn't tell any refs to "have another doughnut.")

Others say the incident has gotten into the Blueshirts' heads and, in addition to Friday night's head-scratching performance by goalie Henrik Lundqvist, the momentum shifts to the Caps. Tell us what you think:

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 26, 2009; 9:23 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: NHL Suspends Tortorella for Game 6
Next: Tortorella Suspension Details; Avery to Play


This will NOT fired them up. What he got suspended for is not a reason that should fire up the team. If he was injured by something, that would fire the team up. (Makes sense?) I'm just saying that the Rangers will not be affected at all by a stupid thing tort did. You don't play for a coach who got suspended for throwing a water bottle that hit some fan in the head.

Anyway, we win and bring it back home! GOOOO CAPS!!

Posted by: rachel216 | April 26, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The powers that be at the NHL do have some guts. These are professional athletes; this does not makes a difference.

Posted by: mjwies11 | April 26, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

It shouldn't make a diffence how hard the team plays. But the question is, how diffent will in game adjustments be, and will the caps expect them. Shony won't be affraid to do something torts wouldn't like seeing as how he is the asistant gm and technicly the boss

Posted by: rangerfan44 | April 26, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

The NHL has clear rules about engadging the fans. He squirted and thrw a bottle. I dont care if someone did dump beer on him.

If he squirted me, ho would of gotten my Miller Lite on his head, and owed me $7.50

Posted by: SA-Town | April 26, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the repost: I am in Budapest. Does NHL hockey reach Europe in some form on TV or am I out of luck?

Posted by: dukster | April 26, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse


You can watch online for pretty cheap rates. No contract required, 9.99-13.99 a month or you can buy by the day or month. I don't have cable here in DC and NHL won't even show Caps home or away games since I live in DC.

Posted by: saintex | April 26, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

According to Versus Hockey Central last night, Rangers put out a statement that they do not agree with the suspension (and no further comments). So, I am guessing if anything, this is the mind set the Rangers will have today. That they are the wronged club, because Torts got harrassed by our fans and was only defending himself. Sure, that could fire up a team to play one for the coach...who knows.

Like many here have said, as long as the Caps come out all fired up with their backs to the walls, the better team has a great chance of winning! I like the idea of not weathering the storm, but creating a storm of one's own. Keep the Rangers on their heels from the get go. Play a sound defensive game, and the offense should come!


Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | April 26, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling it may be something like a 2-1 Caps win. We've gotten to Lundstrom in the odd numbered games but haven't broken through in even games. It'll be tight.

Posted by: saintex | April 26, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling it may be something like a 2-1 Caps win. We've gotten to Lundstrom in the odd numbered games but haven't broken through in even games. It'll be tight.

Posted by: saintex | April 26, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Having Torts there or not there is not that big a deal. But only having one coach behind the bench to make line changes and defensive pairings is a big deal. Shoney matched up the d-men and Torts called the forward line changes, does Shoney do both now or does Sather come out of the press box and work the bench and is that allowed?

Posted by: RichC3 | April 26, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

thanks, saintex. I have no idea how they are able to do this, but that's helpful.

Posted by: dukster | April 26, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Oh and ummm...Cap's rally cry should be...."Lets do this for Varly!!!" So he can welcome his 21st birthday on a high note tomorrow!


Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | April 26, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I see as only firing up the fans.

Posted by: sasha_206 | April 26, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Hey guys, being that I've only been to one playoff game (game 1 last year, which was easy to get tickets for) what is the procedure for getting game 7 tix? I'll only need one, so I'd think it wouldn't be too hard to snag a single one. Ticketmaster is requiring a code to get tickets. Am I stuck with craigslist or ticketexchange?

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 26, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The Caps-Rangers game is scheduled to be on here:

Not the best picture, but free.

Posted by: tw46 | April 26, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

i'd honestly recommend scalping at the vc if you only need one. would be hard, but doable, to buy a single ticket on ebay/stubhub. however, sometimes scalpers get stuck w/ a single ticket and are willing to sell for "reasonable" amount. be ready to spend above face unless you want to wait until after the game starts.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 26, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the Rangers offense will come alive, because Torts has been coaching that O into the ground..

doubtful though...

Posted by: SA-Town | April 26, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

claudette chandonia, the woman that torts hit between the eyes with the water bottle, is one of my best friends. . . we've had long talks about this the past 24 hours. ...while she was happy he got suspended, she is also concerned that this might fire up rangers. ...its funny, she is also a life long chicago cubs fan, and i told her last night, "i sure hope you don't end up being our 'bart man' " . ...LOL . ...but i don't think so .....i think we are ready!!!!

i also told her that what torts did with that water bottle when he hit her with it constitutes simple assault and battery, and after we win today, when he shows up at verizon center tuesday night, she ought to have him arrested and charged!!!

Posted by: madmax521 | April 26, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

IMO, the players should lose respect for their coach over his childish behavior. It all depends on whether they will play for Schoenfeld.

Posted by: CapsChick | April 26, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse


I love your prediction of 2-1 Caps.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 26, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Claudette shouldn't worry. This team would've been rallied no matter what because at this point, they may feel almost as desperate as the Caps. They don't want Game 7 at Verizon. Hopefully the better team will truly prevail.

I think having 2 victories where the Caps spanked them 4-0 will only show the Caps that their defense is beatable and so is their goalie.

The difference to me is that although the Caps played pretty well in all the games, some have said been the dominant team, their game was not complete.

The games in which they won they controlled the puck, made better decisions, and most of all, played better D.

Posted by: sasha_206 | April 26, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse


I used to know Claudette way back when (from an old job) and both like and respected her.

I'm hoping that the whole Tortorelli affair causes the Rangers to self-destruct like the Cardinals did in 1985 after the infamous Don Denkinger call. (I'm an old Cardinal fan.) And, like the Rangers, they had a 3 game to 1 edge in that series at one point.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 26, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

My other parting shot is I hope that the Caps themselves get fired up that some woman got hit in between the eyes with a water bottle unprovoked. They shouldn't let a coach and his team get away with that crap. Not to mention they issue a statement disagreeing with that?

Did Torts issue an apology for the woman that got hit?

Posted by: sasha_206 | April 26, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Never mind adthe. It's hit or miss. Anything that's going down can be found at, go to the ice hockey forum. You'll need Sopcast and VLC for best quality.

As a Ranger fan, I find this series stupefying. When they said Drury had a broken hand and he was the clutch guy down the stretch, they were dead before they started. There's no offence because the lines are all jumbled. Then Avery who has been playing good hockey, goes nuts, and they have to bench him. Now the coach is kicked out. If they win this thing, it's a second miracle on ice. Henrik runs hot and cold and he's not a shutout goalie. If Henrik is hot, we have a chance, but they still have to score.

Posted by: idov | April 26, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse


I think the Caps have shown that Lundqvist is beatable.

May the Caps win (and both of your namesakes clean up). At least, I'm sure the Alexes answer to Sasha in Russia.

Won't be watching the game. I'll be watching the Orioles at the ballpark instead. I'll send some "Washington, please beat NY vibes up north" and wear red.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 26, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse


Agree with you. I want a very nice 21st birthday present for Varlamov -- a Caps playoff series victory. That means winning today and winning Tuesday. If we win both games, it will make a great present, even if belated by a day.

I'm sure if that happens, he'll get a shaving cream pie in his face.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 26, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Rags are going to try and fire themselves up with the idea that the League wants the Caps to win. Caps know this is a wild card and need to get that much more fired up!

Go Caps!

Posted by: Sonyask | April 26, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse


Hope the Caps get fired up, also. Hope the Rags are in disarray and play raggedy.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 26, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Torts behavior is an embarrassment to the league and he deserves to be suspended. I hope Avery plays today so we can get 5 extra power plays.......

Posted by: capsfansince74 | April 26, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse


One of these days, the Caps power play has to start scoring. I hope that day is today. Green hadn't exactly been healthy lately which has done nothing for our PP. Okay, Sasha, time to score on the PP. Pay the Rangers back for their filthy play. (God, the Rags are more filthy than Philthy!)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 26, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse


You've truly been a fan from the beginning. I didn't start following the team until 1975. In my first game, they lost 2-0 and Bernie Wolfe was in goal.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 26, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

By all means go for it in the first ten minutes, but don't give up any odd man rushes. Just get the first goal(s).

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 26, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe I'm going to miss the first half of this game. When I get back I hope to see the Caps up 2-0.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 26, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

A Ranger's fan on their blogs said that they were asking for added security all game and denied.
They are definitely going to try to use this as a rallying cry, but Caps should be able to ride superior talent home.
Lets Go Caps

Posted by: bluejeener1 | April 26, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

come out come out where ever u are Rags fans.
Want to bust on yous be4 the game.
Like we did u the felons Torts & Avery.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 26, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Rags fans won't come out because they are nervous little trolls, so they're hiding under their bridge.

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 26, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse


email me at gotodd (underscore) 99 at yahoo dot com about tickets.

Posted by: saintex | April 26, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The Rangers can't come out a gung-ho. Gung-ho in what way, a powerful offense? If they come out and skate up-and-down the ice with use this will be over very quickly. The two games we've won so far were perfectly configured for a win - shots on goals are similar because the NYRs play much better when seriously getting outshot. Last game 21-20 (or was it 20-19?). Game 2 was more like 39-31 or 33. If we are outshooting them it means one of two things: they sat back in the first period and withstood the onslaught, or they scored first. They do not want to skate it wide open. If they want to player tougher defense - not sure how that's possible - or rough it up, have at it. That team is on double secret probation and I'll take power plays. If the Caps score first, it's over. If the Rangers score first, they'll just collapse around the net.

I don't see what they do to come out with vengeance, they have nothing to use as vengeance.

Please, don't allow an quirky odd-man break early.

Thanks, guys.

Kick their arse.

Posted by: saintex | April 26, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@ saint

email sent!

Posted by: snakegriffin | April 26, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The Rangers Vengeance could only amount to their hope that the Caps get some bad bounces. Their last two goals occurred due to mistakes by the Caps and nothing more. There was no grit, no blue collar hard-nosed hockey being played, just a lucky shot and a rookie mistake and that's it. Caps own this one.

Posted by: ejohnsto | April 26, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

avery's out of control...torts is out of control...the team is losing control...avery is coming back to the line up and torts is out...if we play our cards right this is a powder keg ready to explode...come out physical, get in their face and let them overreact...

i expect the rangers will come out the hardest they have all series...we have to match that intensity at least and go toe to toe with them...just like erskine did in game 3 when he and avery collided and erskine ran up in his face and goated him into a sucker punch...more of the same!!!!

we just have to play solid team defense and let that stymie the rags offense and turn into instant offense...crash and traffic in front of the net...get to the net and get everything through and to the net...

Posted by: deadskin | April 26, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Bradley is turning into the force on offense we have expected. 2 more goals for him tonight, one of which will be another epic fail-stop by Lundberg.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 26, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

It's time for Gordon and Steckel to show up. They may well be inspired by Bradley's example and BB's willingness to give them more time if they play their guts out (citing Joe Gibbs, sorry). In any case...

...GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: fnralch | April 26, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I think that what's going to happen this afternoon is the Rangers fans will give our bench - and especially BB - a hard time. MSG fans are rabid to begin with. The Torts incident will be their permission to heckle, pound on the glass, throw water and beer, spit, whatever, all the while inviting BB to throw something back at them so he can be suspended.

Security had better be very tight.

I'm not happy about this whole deal. I understand that TOrts shouldn't have thrown stuff at a fan, no matter how ignorant the fans. And it sounds like he didn't even get the right fan with that water bottle. On the other hand, from what I saw of the incident on tv, there was no Verizon Centre security to control our rabid fans. TSN says Torts is "incensed" because the Rangers called for more security - which is what they're supposed to do - to no avail.

I'm also not happy that if we win this afternoon - which we have a good chance of doing - the Rangers will say it wasn't a fair contest, because they didn't have their coach. And if they lose the series, same thing. It just leaves a bad taste.

I saw the old video of Schoenfeld losing it on the ref. Do you think maybe the whole team has an anger management problem? And do you think that's why Avery and Torts get along: they have similar issues?

Keep the faith.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | April 26, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

(From a previous thread. sorry, went to go see Slap Shot last night at the AFI! WHOOOOO! So, just getting to this now.)


How'd you come up with Red Birdie as your User ID? I confess, it makes me think of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. (Okay, they're my favorite team.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | April 25, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I share my given name with a red colored bird, and I have red hair, so it seemed appropriate (i've been using it as an online handle for years, actually). It just happened that the "red" part works quite well for Caps fandom :)

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 26, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Look for Sather to get behind the bench today......

Posted by: RichC3 | April 26, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

does anyone know what the terms of the suspension are? i mean, is he allowed in the building at all. can he be in the press box or in the locker room at all. obviously he cant be on the bench. wondering if he's allowed any communication w/ the team at all.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 26, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

could we get clark our CAPTIAN in the game and replace gordo. more grit and go to the game. look at all the games yesterday. goals from pitt and philly both come in close to the net. SJ overtime goal mad scramble in tight and they win. every other game the rangers will get a lucky bounce. rangers are due for a lucky bounce today. we need to create our lucky bounce of the skates or leg/angle

Posted by: samb99 | April 26, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I think Tortorella deserved the suspension. As far as whether this will help us or not I'm not sure. Didn't seem like Torts was doing much anyway. If not for Henrik standing on his head this series would be over by now. In our favor.

I'm definitely concerned about what the Rangers fans are gonna pull. I hope the MSG security personnel is on high alert. Ideally they should just stand behind the glass in a line (like they do at soccer games in Europe and South America). I know that's not gonna happen since people paid a lot of money for those first row seats.

MGS is gonna be a total zoo today. Can't wait for the game to start.

Posted by: ranndino | April 26, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

if Claudette does not press charges I think that the verizon center and Teddy should that kind of behavior is completely uncalled for, THIS IS NOT THE NBA. the NHL has repeatedly told these guys that no matter what, you do not make physical contact with the Fans. this suspension is way to light a punishment. This is worst than Sean Avery's comments about the sloppy seconds, and should be treated as such. A permanent suspension and a huge fine plus legal charges should have been the appropriate punishment. Torts is a Coach and is supposed to be wiser than that. He is supposed to be the example for the team. well I guess he is because just like torts the team is no good. Any team that thinks that Avery is the future of their organization proves that they are irresponsible.

Torts gets no love in my book.

Claudette I hope you do the right thing and press charges for assault since you have enough physical evidence, And I don't think the NHLPA will support torts on this one.

Lets go CAPS big win today

Posted by: HockeyFarmer | April 26, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

samb99, Gordon and Clark are not interchangeable parts. They both have very specific yet different roles. If you remove Gordon, you lose one of the face off specialists, as well as one of the top PK guys.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 26, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Just read that the Rangers have only 1 assistant coach. That changes my mind. Usually coaches split duties. For example, one handles the forwards and another defensemen. Or someone is in charge of the PP or PK. It will be tough for Shoenfield to be in charge of the whole team by himself. Advantage us.

Plus, Torts didn't exactly set an example of how to be disciplined. He gave to them for being undisciplined after game 4 and scratched Avery for that reason for game 5. He looks like a total hypocrite to his own players now.

Posted by: ranndino | April 26, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@ Ranndino,

Torts is his team. the atmosphere in the locker room at MSG has got to be one of real unadulterated venom towards any other team they come in contact with. The suspension of Avery did not come from torts it came from the ownership of the NYR who are completely embarrassed at how the team lloks towards the popular public that does not understand hockey. they seem like a team full of rabidness dogs.

I think that the advantage of the them not having their leader will help but the boys have got to play hard like they did in game 5. Score, and score quickly, and often. bury them in their defeat. the NYR definitely get defeated easily when they start playing against themselves.

Posted by: HockeyFarmer | April 26, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The Capitals season ends today!

Posted by: malkinshockeyskates | April 26, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The betting line movement indicates its good for the Caps. Next.

Posted by: rockbroker | April 26, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I am the guy who "Torts" was mad at. What none of the photos show is that there were three young men in the same row who had been harassing the Rangers coaches most of the night. Nothing bad, just typical fan stuff. I said very little but simply watched the game. I am originally from D.C. and had season tickets to the Caps for more than 10 years before I moved out of town. This was the first Caps game I had been to in 20 years and a friend got me these tickets as I was visiting D.C.

The NHL got this right...Torts just lost it. His team was playing very badly. Here's what happened. The security guard and I were commenting about how many shots had been taken (relatively low given the previous games) and I said to Torts thru the glass.."You've got 15 shots and your pussy's can't even score"...I didn't cuss or yell at him...It was said calmly. But, it was obviously the straw that broke the camels back and he came unglued. He grabbed a water bottle and squirted me thru the gap in the glass. At that point I threw the remainder of my beer at him (this was the only beer I had all day) and then he tried to hit me with the water bottle...I ducked and it missed me but, unfortunately, it hit a lady seated a few rows back...(And, if that lady wants to pursue this further and needs something from me, please let me know). Then, he grabbed a stick and tried to threaten me...I jestured (did not say anything) for him to bring it on and he was then restrained by his other coaches. I was asked to wait at the top of the stairs until security sorted it out and that's what I did...I was then able to return to my seat. All of the security people and police got it right...I didn't start this mess...he did. If he had only shot a small amount of water at me, I would have laughed it off...Instead, he shot nearly the whole bottle and got me very wet...I'm a veteren hockey fan and a little water wouldn't have hurt me. Now, throwing the water bottle and hitting another fan is a whole different thing and he should have been given more than a one-game suspension for that action, not the water squirting...That's the way I see it...

Posted by: carsonblues | April 26, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

One more thing...Torts also claimed that I spit on him before all this started. That's a lie. The security guard was sitting right next to me virtually the whole time along with my wife and stepson. And, I didn't see anyone else throw or spit at him either...

Posted by: carsonblues | April 26, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse


If you hadn't said anything then this whole incident wouldn't have happened. I'm not saying you're wrong and Tortilla obviously overreacted but the hockey should decide the outcome of the games. Not that game, this one and the next. Now there's a whole can of worms out there.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 26, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Carson, thanks for the insight into what happened. I actually feel bad for you because it was assumed that you were the instigator. He is a d-bag for sure.

Posted by: sasha_206 | April 26, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, FloridaCapsFan, you obviously don't know much about sports and sports fans. This man is 50 years old (and, I'm nearly 60) and what do you think his players do to Cap players when they're on the ice? They taunt them. In fact, all of his players were attempting to taunt OV whenever he skated by their bench. Fans do that too...Just to throw them off-stride a bit...Besides, the game was virtually over at that point..The Caps were already up four goals...Do you think he's never been harassed by fans before? Geez, the New York fans by themselves have probably done worse on his home ice...Get a clue....

Posted by: carsonblues | April 26, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Sasha_206...Thanx...As I said, I think the NHL got it right...They were obviously very deliberate in talking to people and looking at the tapes and found that he squirted me before I threw the beer on him..I feel bad for the lady who was hit with the water bottle and hope she's ok....

Posted by: carsonblues | April 26, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I know players taunt each other to try and get each other off their games. I think fans can shout out what they want at games (they paid for that right). I think Tortilla overreacted to what you said as you stated it. But, if you hadn't said it, none of this would have happened and we would have one less variable to take into account. By the way, aren't you a bit old to be inviting people to fight?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 26, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

FloridaCapsFan...Your argument is specious at best...First you say fans have the "right" to taunt the opposing team and then you say none of this would have happened if I didn't...Torts should have simply laughed it off as I would have with a small squirt of water but he didn't. As far as inviting people to fight, he threw a water bottle at me and then tried to come after me with a hockey stick...If that's not an invitation, I don't know what is...I'm not about to back away from this or any other butthead for any reason after that...As I said previously, get a clue...

Posted by: carsonblues | April 26, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse


We'll have to agree to disagree on this. Enjoy the game and let's go Caps!

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 26, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

FloridaCapsFan...On that, I wholeheartedly agree...GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: carsonblues | April 26, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

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