New York Rangers coach John Tortorella added to his reputation as one of the NHL's most fiery, no-nonsense men behind the bench while meeting with the media before Sunday's game against the Capitals.
When Tortorella was asked about an injury that might keep a "banged up" Rick Nash out of the lineup, Tortorella replied: "None of your business."
Nash was considered a game-time decision after missing Saturday’s practice with what the team called an illness.
The winger ended up being listed in the Rangers starting lineup, taking part in warmups and playing.
Tortorella's terse reply comes a day after a New York Times story spotlighted a kinder, gentler Tortorella who had displayed marked patience while cooperating with the media of late -- perhaps in an effort to enhance his chances of being named coach of the U.S. Olympic team for the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.
Long known in hockey circles for his combative news conferences, Tortorella came under scrutiny in the wider sports world during last year’s playoffs for that tendency. Many believed his outbursts would cost him a chance to lead the Americans in Sochi.
Interestingly, over the last two weeks, Tortorella has been remarkably cooperative with reporters, answering questions patiently and even apologizing for keeping them waiting.
That probably has more to do with his not coming off as the “heavy,” as he said Feb. 6, when he benches players he is fond of, like Brian Boyle. But the contrast with the old Tortorella is marked and, if it lasts, can only help his Olympic chances.