Now that the Rangers' season is over, John Tortorella is ready to acknowledge his ugly confrontation with a Capitals' fan in Game 5 in Washington and his subsequent throwing of a water bottle into the stands and suspension for Game 6 was an embarrassment.
An open Tortorella, who spent 36 minutes meeting with the print and radio media to discuss the just-completed season and his expectations for next season, said he let the organization down.
"It's a bad mistake by me, I regret it," Tortorella said. "I think I put the organization in an embarrassing situation."
Tortorella, who does believe he was spit upon early in the game, said instead of trying to get the Verizon Center's security guards to quell the situation, he should have gone to the on-ice referees and complained and have them handle it, possibly by ejecting the fan or fans.
"I am embarrassed by it," Tortorella said. "I am an intense person, which is a positive but it also turns into a negative at times and that turns into a negative for us in my actions there and I regret it."
Tortorella admitted, though, this was something he was not going to discuss during the series.
"I didn't want to talk to you guys about it the other day, I didn't want it to be more of a distraction than I wanted it to be," Tortorella said. "Was it a distraction? Of course it was. How much it played into that next game, I don't know. I thought we played a good first period and I know we had capable coaches on the bench. You need to ask some of the players about that.
"It can't happen," he added. "I preach discipline. I preach team concept. I am disciplined. I am a team-concept guy and I stepped out of bounds and I made a huge mistake. Do I have warts? You're damned right I do."
Still, Tortorella, at the least, defended what got him angry in the first place, the abuse the fans were heaping upon his players.
"My heart was in the right place," he said. "I was protecting my players. At least I felt I was. But I stepped way out of bounds."