Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/12/14 at 09:42 AM ET
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
Tortorella is in the crosshairs because of a 2-11-1 slide, his tunnel tirade to get to Bob Hartley that didn’t help morale and a preoccupation with push and pace. It has led to a rash of injuries and indifferent play and the inability to maintain consistency or have anything left in the tank.
Ryan Kesler, Daniel and Henrik Sedin rank first, seventh and ninth respectively in average ice time among all NHL forwards. Henrik is playing through bruised ribs, Daniel has a season-threatening hamstring ailment, and Kesler’s commando style invites injury. On top of that, the Canucks are 3-20-1 when trailing after two periods, have the 25th-ranked power play and 28th-ranked offence.
Those are fireable offences.
It’s probably why Tortorella held a heartfelt and lengthy post-practice talk with his players in the far corner of Rogers Arena. No yelling and screaming in trying to save the season — and his job.
“It’s about not giving in and the responsibility of being a professional,” Tortorella said of the exchange.
added 10:57am, from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
On what basis does Tortorella deserve the chop? What has he done that he wasn’t supposed to do, other than charge the Calgary dressing room, get suspended, and pull for Sweden over Canada in Sochi?
Well, he snubbed Roberto Luongo in the Heritage Classic, and that was bad. But it was also the catalyst that made the Florida trade happen, and got the Canucks out from under $27 million of bad contract, so surely Tortorella gets an accidental gold star for that one.
Has he failed to ignite a fire under his players since coming back from his 15-day, pre-Olympic suspension? Yes, he has. In losing 12 of 14 games at a time when a playoff spot has been eminently available despite everything that’s gone wrong, the team over which Tortorella presides has played utterly without poise or confidence, blown leads, given up late goals, and made bushels of grievous errors in judgment.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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