It's not personal to John Tortorella. It's business. The coaching business. Which is why the Rangers coach stopped minding his own to jump to the defense of John MacLean, fired after just 33 games on the job behind the Devils' bench.
Tortorella's unsolicited support of MacLean, who was replaced by Jacques Lemaire on Dec. 23 with the Devils at 9-22-2, came in the wake of comments from Lightning coach Guy Boucher, who was quoted last week saying: "I think if Jacques had been there since the beginning, they would be [up] there again."
Interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about Johnny Mac, really. At the time I felt like he was doing everything he could and the situation was just too much for anyone to handle. Now that things are starting to turn around and players are commenting on how they're getting into better shape and practices are better... I don't know, maybe Mac just wasn't ready for this kind of coaching situation. I don't think Boucher meant what he said as a slight on McLean, but it is interesting to see Tortorella jump to defend him about it. I didn't know Torts respected McLean this much.