Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/04/14 at 10:02 AM ET
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
While everybody and everything will be up for review, what shouldn’t be lost in the conversations or the defending of turf — call it the Gillis line in the sand — is how Tortorella suddenly supplanted John Stevens as the front-runner to replace the fired Alain Vigneault. Or how the new coach, who vowed to push a veteran-laden team hard, pushed them over the edge with a defensive-minded system that produced fatigue, a pop-gun offence and that crazy tunnel tirade.
Following his first game back from a six-game suspension, a 2-0 loss in Detroit, Tortorella said: “We need to change the complexion of our hockey club. Either with our play or with different people. Because we look like a slow team. I thought our best forward was David Booth, which is good for him but not good for us.”
Imagine how that was received by players and management? The coach was obviously defending his turf. An injury-riddled roster was testing his motivational mettle because it was going to be a struggle to make the postseason in re-alignment while butting heads in the Pacific Division.
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