Thornton tried to pull back from those remarks today, but after initially brushing the comments off last night Rangers' coach John Tortorella is now sounding off according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.
“Yeah it caught me off-guard when it was brought up after the game,” Tortorella said at the team’s Greenburgh practice facility Tuesday morning. “It surprised me, and I’ve never heard a player say that. Joe’s a heck of a player, but here’s a player popping off about our team, and Joe hasn’t won a g--damn 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.”Tortorella is absolutely right here to bash Thornton for calling another team soft when he has yet to win a Stanley Cup and his team has been seen as a chronic underachiever in the playoffs because they haven't been tough enough. However, it is also pretty clear from the video that Thornton was frustrated with his team's effort and seemed to be reaching for another word to describe their lackluster effort against a team that had been struggling. In trying to tell his team that they have to get up for every game no matter how the opposing team is playing coming in Thornton stuck his foot in his mouth and now Tortorella is jumping on it.
Video of Thornton's comments via The Score: