Torts has Johnny Mac's back

Rangers head coach John Tortorella has seldom hesitated in speaking his mind, and last Friday he rebuked Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Guy Boucher for comments the Bolts' bench boss made after his team was clipped twice by the suddenly streaking New Jersey Devils. After falling in both rounds of a home-and-home series, Boucher remarked: "I think if Jacques had been there since the beginning, they would be [up] there again," referring to the mid-season replacement of rookie coach John MacLean with Jacques Lemaire. While the quip may have been intended as a compliment to Lemaire, some, including Tortorella, took it as a shot at MacLean.

In an interview with the New York Post's Larry Brooks on Friday, Tortorella politely told Boucher, a first-year coach himself, to keep his thoughts to himself:

"It's none of my business, but coaching is tough enough without comments like these coming from people who should know better ... Johnny [MacLean] 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 he'd 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."

You can read the rest of the reaction via the link above.

There's no doubt the Devils are surging all of the sudden -- winners of four straight, points in seven straight -- but every Devils player during the team's early struggles stated expressly that MacLean was not the cause of the problems. Guess you can add Tortorella to that list as well.