John Tortorella tees off on Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher, who decides not to respond
After the Devils beat the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 14, Lightning coach Guy Boucher paid a compliment to friend and Devils coach Jacques Lemaire, who on Dec. 23 took over downtrodden New Jersey but now has the team playing well. "I think if Jacques had been their since the beginning, they would be up there again," Boucher said.
Well, that comment, as innocent as it was, did not sit well with Rangers coach John Tortorella, who told the New York Post he thought the comment was "a backhanded slap at a good guy" in former Devils coach John MacLean, whom Lemaire replaced.
Here is what the Post said Tortorella, the former Lightning coach, said:
"It's none of my business, but coaching is tough enough without comments like these coming from people who should know better. I'm sure that Guy was trying to pay Jacques a compliment, but it comes across as a backhand slap at Johnny MacLean, who certainly doesn't deserve that.
"Johnny worked his (butt) off over there in Jersey under what weren't the greatest circumstances at all with the (Ilya) Kovalchuk situation, Zach Parise getting injured right at the start, and he lost his job, lost the job always wanted, and now there are these comments coming from another NHL head coach. This is a tough enough job. Stay in your own business. Coach your own team. Don't shoot your mouth off about another situation you don't know anything about.
"If you want to compliment Jacques, fine, but it comes across as a backhand slap at a good guy in Johnny MacLean, who was trying to do the best he could, and that's what bothers me."
Boucher said he had not read or heard the comments, did not want to hear them and declined to comment other than to say he was not trying to run down MacLean in any way. Boucher knows Lemaire through his long-time friendship with Lemaire's son Danyk.