Well, you don’t see this every day. Some 24 hours after he was caught on camera throwing a water bottle at an innocent Washington fan, New York Rangers coach John Tortorella was suspended for Game 6 of the teams’ first round series by the NHL. In case you lost track, the Rangers lead that series 3-2, which means that Tortorella could miss the decisive game because of a water bottle toss.
(Don’t worry John, you can go hockey casual all day Sunday.)
We have no record of other hockey coaches being suspended for potential decisive games, but there’s really no more fitting sport for such a ridiculous turn of events to follow. Clearly, this was a punishment ticketed for Lou Pinella or Pat Riley, and somehow a guy who openly advocated for Sean Avery to be banned, then came back to coach him within months, got the envelope instead.
The first round playoff series between the Capitals and Rangers has been getting testy, with desperate Caps fans frustrated beyond belief that their team is still struggling to win a playoff series. Well, in the midst of a season-saving blowout of New York on Friday, fans were laying the verbal abuse — and maybe something else — on Rangers coach John Tortorella, who decided he’d had just about enough.
That’s when Tortorella took things into his own hands, turning around and confronting the Washington fans after someone reportedly tossed a beer on his head. He threw a water bottle into the stands and grabbed a stick, pointing it at the fans and threatening a charge out of the coaches box before being restrained by assistant coach Jim Schoenfeld. If it sounds too crazy to believe, just check out the video after the jump.