Another year, another colourful exchange between John Tortorella and Larry Brooks.
The New York Rangers' head coach and New York Post hockey columnist went back and forth in a game day scrum on Friday after Brooks asked Tortorella whether he thought the Rangers' backs were against the wall going into Game 2 of their first-round series with the Washington Capitals.
"Do I think our backs are against the wall? This is a series," responded Tortorella.
"That's what I'm asking," said Brooks. "Are your backs against the wall right now?"
"I never think our backs are against the walls. I think in a series..."
"In a series or anytime?" Brooks interjected.
"So you didn't think your backs were against the wall Saturday?"
"Saturday?" Tortorella asked.
"Against New Jersey?"
"You mean in the regular season?"
"That's what I'm asking," said Brooks. "You said you never think your backs are against the wall. Are you just talking about playoffs or anytime?"
"Well we're in playoffs right now," said Tortorella. "You're asking me questions to try and box me in to language."
"No I'm not."
"Yes you do."
"No I'm not," explained Brooks. "I'm asking you do you think your backs are against the wall, you said 'I never think backs are against the wall.' I said 'in regular season or playoffs.' So you're only talking about playoffs."
"I'm talking about a series of playoffs," countered Tortorella. "Why are we even going back to regular season? "Cause it's logistics with you. You try to use my words Brooksie..."
"No, you talked about the regular season just now," said Brooks, cutting him off.
"No, you try to use my words and box me in to a corner all the time," said Tortorella. "Can I get another question? I went in here in a pretty good mood today, too."
"So did I," said Brooks.
"Well you obviously ------ that up, didn't you?"
The exchange was one of many between Tortorella and Brooks over the years, going back to the coach's days with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tortorella's Rangers trail Washington 1-0 in their first-round series and the coach will dress agitator Sean Avery in the lineup for Game 2.
"When Sean is consistent with his play, he can add some forechecking to us. He should also add some energy to our lineup. Hopefully Sean adds some juice."
Watch TSN.ca later today for the video and also catch it on SportsCentre at 6pm et/3pm pt.