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Devils baffled by Tortorella's comments

Sunday, 05.20.2012 / 3:47 PM

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer / Rangers vs. Devils series blog

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Devils baffled by Tortorella's comments
NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils coach Peter DeBoer had one word to describe the gamesmanship comments made by Rangers coach John Tortorella on Sunday.

"Comical," DeBoer said, without elaborating any further.

In defense of DeBoer saying Brandon Prust was "headhunting, plain and simple" when he hit Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov in the head with an elbow -- a play that earned Prust a disciplinary hearing Sunday morning with the NHL's Department of Player Safety -- Tortorella went off on a rant about how the Devils stay down on the ice to try to draw calls from the officials.

Tortorella specifically pointed out what he viewed as Dainius Zubrus elbowing Anton Stralman and Zach Parise "launching himself" at Michael Del Zotto. He also talked about the Devils using an illegal pick as a set play on the power play to stop the Rangers defensemen from blocking shots.

"There's some gamesmanship right there, huh?" Tortorella said.

The Devils don't know or understand what Tortorella is talking about, especially his remarks about staying down on the ice to draw penalties.

"I don't pay attention to that and I don't know of anyone in here that has done that, unless they're referring to Volchenkov, when he got elbowed in the head," Parise said. "I mean, I don't think anyone in here has done that. Maybe he saw something differently, but I don't think we've done that at all."

Zubrus couldn't even remember a hit on Stralman.

"I don't know what (Tortorella's) thought process is, what's he's thinking," Zubrus said. "The hit on Volchy got quite a bit of attention. Maybe they want to turn the attention away from that."

Asked if he heard from the League about an elbow on Stralman, Zubrus said no.

"I didn't know about any of this until you guys (the media) told me," he added.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl
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