Tampa Bay Lightning head coach John Tortorella, in an interview with CBC last night, called the Martin firing "bullshit."
Mr. Tortorella said he believed the Senators played a very good series, and had the Ottawa goalie made a couple of saves it would have been a different series. He said the Martin firing shows that management is once again letting players off the hook.
I had no idea about Tortorella's comments. I learned about them from all of you web-surferes who started searching for "Tortorella CBC" or "Tortorella is an ass" with regards to his comments here.
I'm going to make an odd coaching comparison but John Tortorella has seen this before where the coach gets the blame isntead of the players. Who, what and where did he see it? Here in Tampa Bay with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers firing Tony Dungy because of repeated playoff losses.
If players played with more heart, Dungy keeps his job and the Buccaneers advance on their own without needing an adrenalin shot that would amount to Jon Gruden. It's very easy for us - the fans - to make the coach out to be the scapecoat. Tortorella himself was on thin ice earlier this season when the Lightning, after a white-hot start in October - tanked most of November and December. Jacques Demers, former Lightning head coach and TV analyst, was predicting Torts firing if the Lightning were to lose tot he Canadiens during a game in January.
Torts calling Martin's firing "bullshit" seems about right to me but then again - I know how it is to be a bitter fan who is disappointed his / her team never gets beyond a certain point in the playoffs or gets past a certain playoff opponent. Martin may very well go on to success elsewhere but his dismissal in Ottawa may have been necessary for both the team and for the coach.