The Rangers' first-round series against Washington is done, but it didn't stop John Tortorella from taking one last parting shot at the Capitals.
Tortorella started by praising his team's mindset in winning a tough seven-game series but then veered off to take a dig at the the Capitals, some of whom vented frustration about the officiating after being eliminated.
"We got everybody and their brother whining out there in Washington about what happened in that series," Tortorella said. "I think that's a big reason they lose that series."
"I think our mindset has been very good as far as not letting anything bother us, just getting ready to play each day. Play a game, practice the next day, just go about our business."
Tortorella's response came after Capitals star forward Alex Ovechkin raised some eyebrows after Washington's 5-0 loss in Game 7, telling a Russian reporter that he thought the league wanted to see the series go the distance.
"I am not saying there was a phone call from [the league], but someone just wanted Game 7. For the ratings," Ovechkin told Slava Malamud of Sport-Express (in a Russian-language interview). "You know, the lockout, the escrow, the league needs to make profit ... I don't know whether the refs were predisposed against us or the league. But to not give obvious penalties (on the Rangers), while for us, any little thing was immediately penalized."
The comments were made in reference to Game 6 in which the Rangers received five power-plays and the Capitals received none.
Capitals GM George McPhee expressed his displeasure with the officiating as well.
"I don't think there's a league conspiracy but it sure didn't feel right. Alex wasn't wrong," McPhee told reporters on Wednesday when asked about Ovechkin's accusation. "I talked to them during the series but at some point you stop. They'll referee the way they want to referee."
Tortorella has been disciplined by the league multiple times for criticizing officiating, most notably during the 2011 Winter Classic. Following the Rangers' 3-2 victory over the Flyers, he called the officiating "disgusting" and insinuated that the league wanted the game to go to overtime. Tortorella was fined $30,000 for those comments.