John Tortorella Calls Winter Classic Officiating ‘Disgusting,’ Wonders If ‘NBC Got Together With the Refs’


January 2, 2012

John Tortorella's New York Rangers won the Winter Classic over the Flyers on Monday night in Philadelphia. They did so after successfully preserving a one-goal lead late in the third period.

However, that one-goal lead almost evaporated late when Flyers forward Danny Briere was awarded a penalty shot after the officials deemed that Ryan McDonagh had covered the puck with his hand in Henrik Lundqvist's crease. It was the most controversial call in a game that had suspect officiating to say the least.

Tortorella, as he can, took things to the extreme when breaking down the call and the game's officiating in the moments after his team picked up a valuable two points against a division rival.

"I'm not sure if NBC got together with the refs," Tortorella said after the game, according to Yahoo's Puck Daddy blog.

"It started with the non-call [when Marian Gaborik] was pitch-forked in the stomach, and then everything starts going against us. They're two good referees; I thought the game was refereed horribly. So I'm not sure what happened there. Maybe they wanted to get it to an overtime. I'm not sure if they have meetings about that or what. But we stood in there. They're good guys. But in that third period, it was disgusting."

Lundqvist ensured that the game would not head to overtime, however, as he made the save on Briere's penalty-shot attempt. New York held on for a 3-2 win.

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