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Entries with the tag: john tortorella

Video- John Tortorella Postgame

John Tortorella after today's loss to the Capitals.

Tortorella says they will be back in Washington for game 7.

 

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Afternoon Line- John Tortorella

“Some guys see the light at the end of the tunnel and say, ‘You know what? If we don’t get it in, I’m done. We’re done in a few weeks here, It happens with athletes that it’s been a long year and they just want to get away. They haven’t had a good year or there’s been some struggles ... and they just want it to end. That happens with athletes in all sports.”

“There are probably a few players that are saying, ‘Man, I’ve had a s--- year. (Tortorella) has been on me.’ It’s been hard. We’ve got to grind through this after being in last year with 11 games left. It’s hard for some people. To me, it’s giving in. But I think for most in that room, they want to accept this challenge.”

-John Tortorella, head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets after today's morning skate.  Steve Gorten of the Columbus Dispatch has more.

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Video- John Tortorella Admits He Was Wrong In Exchange With Alex Ovechkin

from Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post,

 After Columbus forward Matt Calvert was ejected for butt-ending Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin at the end of the first period, cameras caught Ovechkin and Blue Jackets Coach John Tortorella exchanging pleasantries in front of the Columbus bench before the second period.

After the game, Ovechkin seemed to laugh off the exchange. “We just talk about: ‘How’s everything? What’s going on?’ He’s a nice guy,” Ovechkin said with a grin.

But Tortorella expressed some regret over the incident.

“That’s my fault,” Tortorella said. “I thought he dove, and I signaled to him. I thought he dove, and he took exception. I have no business making any gesture or saying anything to a player. So that’s not on him. That’s just stupidity on my part.”

continued

If you missed the incidents, watch below...

Tortorella talks about it in his press confernece, scorll to the 6:40 mark.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, john+tortorella

Evening Line- John Tortorella

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Video- John Tortorella On The Pittsburgh Penguins

via the YouTube page of the Columbus Dispatch,

Columbus coach John Tortorella says he doesn’t like the Penguins before his Blue Jackets take on the two-time defending Stanley Cup champs at PNG Arena in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017.

 

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Evening Line- John Tortorella

"My biggest concern is we simply have to get our core guys playing harder and better, and sometimes, instead of pointing the fingers outward, you've got to point the finger inward. It can't keep on going around like this. You're not going to win games consistently in this league, and be the team you want to be, if you don't have your top players being your top players - no matter what situation they're in. It's not trying to rip them. It is what it is."

-John Tortorella, head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Brian Hedger of BluJackets.com has more.

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Evening Line- John Tortorella

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All John Tortorella

from Aaron Portzline of The Athletic,

Portzline: Your team came into last season with so much to prove, almost a sense of embarrassment about the previous two seasons. What is the motivation now, and how worried are you about a let-down, or a feeling that the 50 wins and 108 points means you’ve arrived?

Tortorella: I’ll give you one line in the letter I sent to them this summer: ‘We played 10 days extra. That’s it. Ten days.’ The biggest thing I’m trying to say to you, Portzy, is I’ve been through this before in Tampa. Look, I thought we had a really good camp last year to get us going in the right direction. Our mindset, I thought, changed as we went through camp and into our season. We lost our first two games, had a reset right away. That helped us. I know … in my gut, I think this year is going to be a year where we have to try to figure out some other things.

AP: It seemed like the stars aligned last season …

JT: I don’t know if we’re going to be able to win 16 games in a row. Some of the things that went right last year, I don’t know if they’re going to go right this year. Each year is a different animal. I know in my gut … my gut just screams to me, ‘Be ready. There are going to be some challenges here.’

more (paid subscription, 30% off today)....

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John Tortorella No Longer A Lame-Duck Coach

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

The adage that “coaches are hired to be fired” has been hammered into the Jackets’ misshapen history. The Jackets have been eating portions of coaches’ contracts from the time Doug MacLean selected himself to replace Dave King behind the bench in January 2003. It is a regular cost of doing business in major-league sports, yes, but when you eat a million here and a million there, pretty soon you’re talking about some real money. And this isn’t Real Madrid we’re talking about here.

So, Tortorella’s one-year extension makes sense. It maintains the momentum gained from a 108-point season. These Jackets are capable of pushing deep into the playoffs, and it would have been folly to stage a protracted contract war with the league’s coach of the year. Here in Columbus, we don’t even want to think about a contract war.

Jackets management has, generally speaking, done a fine job and deserves to be recognized for stockpiling assets. At the same time, it is hard to forget what embarrassing depths it can reach in the middle of a contract dispute. Two words: Ryan Johansen.

I’m not saying that John Davidson, president of hockey operations, Jarmo Kekalainen, the general manager, and assistant general manager Bill Zito, the point man on most negotiations, would again play the public-humiliation card, but they did it once, and the memory is a stain that is slow to fade.

read on

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A One-Year Contract Extension For John Tortorella

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed Head Coach John Tortorella to a one-year contract extension through the 2018-19 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. Since joining the club on Oct. 21, 2015, Tortorella has led the Blue Jackets to an 84-57-16 record and .586 points percentage.

"John Tortorella and his coaching staff have done a terrific job since his arrival nearly two years ago," said Kekalainen. "He is one of the top coaches in our game and we are excited about what lies ahead for our club with John as our head coach."

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Videos- A Sit Down With John Tortorella, McDavid Skill And Kucherov Impresses

via Sportsnet's YouTube channel,

John Tortorella speaks with Christine Simpson about his past mistakes as a coach and how he has approached his opportunity in Columbus.

 

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John Tortorella Will Miss Tonight’s Game And The All-Star Weekend

COLUMBUS, OHIO - Columbus Blue Jackets Head Coach John Tortorella has returned to Columbus due to a family emergency that will cause him to miss tonight's game at Nashville, as well as this weekend's 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game®.

Assistant coaches Brad Larsen and Brad Shaw will handle coaching duties for the Blue Jackets in Tortorella's absence.

"Regrettably, there is a personal matter that requires my immediate attention that will force me to leave the team temporarily and miss the All-Star Game in Los Angeles," Tortorella said. "This decision was not made lightly as representing the Columbus Blue Jackets is something I am very proud of, but it is the right decision for my family and I. I appreciate the support of our organization and the National Hockey League and my hope is to be back with the team next week."

 

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Video- Evening Line By John Tortorella

"Marty was a pain in the ass to coach"

 

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John Davidson Took A Chance When Hiring John Tortorella

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

John Tortorella is the odds-on favourite to win the NHL coach of the year honours, which may surprise some people, but not John Davidson, who never lost faith. Davidson is the Columbus Blue Jackets’ president of hockey operations and currently oversees the NHL’s most unexpected early-season success story. The Blue Jackets entered Friday’s game with the Calgary Flames with the fewest regulation losses in the league (five) and boast a winning percentage of better than .700, both at home and on the road....

Davidson eventually got into the hockey business, first with St. Louis, then with Columbus, and in both cases helped to oversee turnarounds in organizations with massive credibility issues. But Davidson tested the limits of his own credibility by going to bat for Tortorella. Davidson trusted him – and more importantly, he trusted that Tortorella would not go off the deep end the way he had in previous NHL stops with the Rangers and the Canucks, which eventually created irreconcilable differences with the management and ownership of those teams.

Davidson remembered how Tortorella led the Tampa Bay Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup championship and how he got the Rangers to block shots so consistently. And he understood why so polarizing a figure had also earned the most NHL victories of any U.S.-born coach.

“John really wanted to coach again – he wanted one more kick at it,” said Davidson. “We did extensive research and talked to the really good players and people he’d coached with – and there were zero negatives. I knew the man, which is different than the perception of him that’s out there.”

read on

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All John Tortorella

from Kristina Rutherford of Sportsnet,

KR Is the public perception of you different than how you are?

JT Oh, sure.

KR I was a little scared to talk to you, to be honest.

JT Oh, no. But I can’t do anything about that. And I don’t want to chase perception, it’s too hard. Those top 10 lists [sports networks] sometimes have—if that’s what people want to think of me, I can’t change that. Because that is me in those situations. If people want to roll me up in a ball and say that’s who he is, I can’t change that. But for the people who really know me, they know me. This is a hard interview for me, and you’re going to end this pretty quickly because you’re talking too much about me.

KR Really?

JT This is the last question for you, Kristina. Out of the game, I’m private. So we’re done.

much more

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John Tortorella Trying To Avoid Over-Coaching

from Brian Compton of NHL.com,

It's no secret what Team USA coach John Tortorella demands from his players. Conditioning, discipline, the will to compete.

That's why Tortorella admitted after practice at Verizon Center on Monday that it's September and his players are coming in after offseasons of various lengths.

"I do try to keep myself in check as far as over-coaching, but then when you get in the room with the players, you over-coach," said Tortorella, whose team will face Team Finland in a pretournament game for the World Cup of Hockey 2016 here Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN1, TVA Sports). "We over-coach, and if a coach tells you he doesn't, he's a liar. We do because that's just our being, quite honestly, because I think coaches care and they want to prepare their players. But the players, if it's a few minutes there, they'll suck some things in for a few minutes and then they may be looking at you, and you think they're listening but they're really not, so you've got to be really careful how much you give them.

"We're OK. We're OK. Every team's going through it. We're good. We've got a good group of guys. It was a bit of a grind for them today. The ice wasn't that good, which doesn't bother me. I'd rather have them skate on that type of ice because I think it'll help them conditioning-wise. But we're not going to get it all within two weeks here. How much do you give them? That's what I fight every day when we prepare our practices, when we show tape. I showed tape today for a half-hour and I'm saying to myself after, 'Did I touch upon too many things instead of focusing on the most important stuff?' So we fight that every day as coaches."

continued

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Why the World Cup matters

USA Today's Kevin Allen answers, "What is the World Cup of Hockey, and why watch?"

The selling point of the World Cup of Hockey is that teams are made up of Grade A premium NHL talent with no filler.

When the World Cup starts Saturday with the U.S. playing Team Europe (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), it will boast a field that is more competitive top-to-bottom than we saw at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

“In this tournament you really have to watch yourself, because every team has a chance to win,” Canada center Jonathan Toews said.

Instead of a 12-team Olympic field, the NHL and the NHL Players Association agreed on an eight-team format that includes the primary hockey countries of Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic, plus a team made up of the NHL’s best 23-and-under North American players and an European All-Star team. Team Europe has the best NHLers from countries not already in the tournament. Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (Slovenia), Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (Slovakia) and Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (Switzerland) are among them.

Only a handful of non-NHL players have been invited to play in this tournament.

“It’s such a condensed tournament,” USA coach John Tortorella said. “You really are seeing the best players.”

Allen continues...

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Video- Stephen A. Smith On The Comments From John Tortorella

Smith wants Tortorella removed as head coach of Team USA.

Watch below and sorry for the small sized video but you can increase the size in the video player.

If you have issues with viewing the vid, watch it here.

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Will the coach’s challenge survive?

The New York Post's Larry Brooks reports that the coach's challenge, which is as flawed as the referees who judge the game as best they can, will be up for debate this summer, and it may or may not last:

So in the aftermath if after another one of those confounding goaltender-interference video reviews that were supposed to “make it right,” but did not, Columbus coach John Tortorella announced a couple of weeks ago that the Blue Jackets would vote against maintaining the coach’s challenge when it comes up for, well, review this summer.

Slap Shots has learned the Columbus organization won’t be the only one to vote nay on the proposition. There will be others. And though it is impossible to project whether the opposition will form a majority opinion, there is no doubt there is widespread unease with the current system, which merely substitutes one subjective opinion for another.

One man’s “getting it right” is another man’s “still getting it wrong.” This isn’t tennis, where the ball is either in or out and can be proven as such on a player’s challenge.

Brooks continues and discusses the World Cup of Hockey...

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Morning Line- John Tortorella

Just get rid of the coach’s challenge. Just get rid of it. The whole (reason for) being of the coach’s challenge is to get it right. If we can’t get it right on that call, then get rid of the coach’s challenge. All I did was waste a timeout. It’s discouraging. That is a no-brainer call. If they vote again for it, no coach’s challenge as far as this organization is concerned.

-John Tortorella, head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets on a goal by Boston's Louie Eriksson.  More on the play and the Blue Jackets win over Boston by Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.

Watch the goal below...

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Video- John Tortorella On His Broken Ribs

via Sportsnet,

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella talks about his return after being injure in a collision with Rene Bourque.

 

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Broken Ribs For John Tortorella

via tweets from the Columbus Blue Jackets,

An update on #CBJ head coach John Tortorella: he suffered two broken ribs after a collision in today's practice.

Tortorella did not travel to Boston with the team, and it's unlikely he will coach tomorrow's game vs. the Bruins.

via TSN from earlier today,

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella has reportedly broken ribs after a collision with forward Rene Bourque during an outdoor practice Friday, according to Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com.

Bourque clipped his coach while he was skating up the left wing and Tortorella went down "hard, twisting and falling awkwardly on hip/rump," according to Mitchell. Bourque said he "hit a rut" before skating into his coach.

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A potential Tortorella classic

The New York Post's Larry Brooks has an idea for the next "Winter Classic moment," if you will:

The Winter Classic is a great event — NHL outdoor games all have been colossal successes on either a local or national stage — but let’s face it, there are few great (inter)national matchups available to command attention beyond the spectacle itself.

You know what would represent a compelling matchup that apparently is nowhere on the league’s agenda? John Tortorella’s Blue Jackets against the Penguins at Ohio State, that’s what.

Seriously.

Can you imagine? Potential combined charges of collusion and whining? Maybe the NHL can and that’s why it would have nothing to do with it.

Instead, get ready for either Rangers-Leafs in Toronto or Penguins-Flyers in either respective city’s pro football stadium.

Yawn.

Brooks continues with more on Brad Marchand and Henrik Lundqvist vs. Corey Schneider

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John Tortorella Earlier Today

from Shawn Mitchell of Puck-Rakers,

A day away from the rink gave Jackets coach John Tortorella plenty of time to “chew” (his word) on a 5-2 loss at Tampa Bay on Friday, and to contemplate what he called a glaring leadership void that plague’s the NHL’s 30th-place team.

Tortorella did not mince words when he met with the media this afternoon.

“We implode,” Tortorella said of a second period on Friday in which the Jackets turned a 2-1 lead into a 4-2 deficit.  “Let’s call a spade a spade. It’s embarrassing, and that’s what we are. I’m not going to tiptoe around here. That’s how we play right now and I think I’m going to need to depend on the kids to get us out of this because I’m not getting squat from the top players as far as that stuff.”

The “stuff” would include a pair of odd-man rushes by the Lightning immediately following a goal by Scott Hartnell that gave the Jackets a 2-1 lead followed by three consecutive minor penalties in a span of three seconds.

read on

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Can John Tortorella Lead Again?

from Gary Lawless of TSN,

The persona had swallowed the person whole.

Somewhere between hoisting a Stanley Cup in Tampa and a disastrous one-season run in Vancouver, we stopped seeing John Tortorella the hockey coach.

All we saw was Torts - a bristling, fuming caricature; a human blowtorch with a penchant for burning so fiercely that it couldn’t possibly last.

Passion is one thing. Logic-clouding fury is another.

“It’s a double-edged sword with John. It’s what makes him great and what gets him in trouble,” said Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen. “I love the passion. He shows passion every day, to learn and to get better as a coach. But it can go too far and John knows that. We didn’t even have to bring it up. It was the first thing he said when we starting talking to him about the job. He admitted he’d made mistakes but said he’d learned from them and it was time to move on.”

Torts can take a team a certain distance, but there’s a defined expiration date on that coach. But what about John Tortorella? Can he, once a championship coach and a man who loves to teach, keep his inner dragon on a leash? The early returns in Columbus say yes and we may be watching the prelude to a bravo second act.

continued

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Video- Morning Line- John Tortorella

via Sportsnet,

Courtesy FSN, John Tortorella took to the podium on Tuesday to express his utter embarrassment on behalf of himself and the team over how the LA Kings made the Blue Jackets look like boys among men.

 

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Video- John Tortorella After A 2-1 Shootout Loss To The Florida Panthers

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

Tortorella didn’t think the Blue Jackets were stoked enough to play the Panthers, like they would be to play, say, the Pittsburgh Penguins or, tonight’s opponent, the Philadelphia Flyers.

“I don’t understand how we can disrespect an opponent when we’re looking up at all 29 teams,” Tortorella said. “It’s another lesson that we’re going to have to learn as we keep plugging away here, trying to get ourselves well.

“But this one … I didn’t expect this one. I thought we were beginning to find our way. But as a group, right on through the lineup, it was disrespectful to our opponent.”

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Watch Tortorella post-game below...

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John Tortorella On Ryan Johansen

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com (5 questions),

What is your feeling on Ryan Johansen?

"It's going to be a process. Joey wants to learn, and he does have a lot to learn. It's great, the points, and I don't want to begrudge him that.

In St. Louis the other night, he made some really good plays. We didn't score a lot, but he was close.

But it's the other part. The other part is how you handle yourself in practice and how you prepare yourself for the practice. Your preparation for games. It's the little things you do as you're trying to become a pro, because Joey has a lot to learn as far as what it is to be a pro. I say that and that shouldn't surprise anybody because he's still a fairly young man in this game. The points are great. That's great. But I don't judge him on the points.

I watch his game and we're going through a teaching process. We're trying to get the right type of foundation on what it is to be a pro and what's the definition of competing, what's the definition of hardness, what is the definition of engagement. It's all those things. He's right in the middle of it with us."

four more questions and answers...

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Morning Line- John Tortorella

“We’re not going to whine here. Pittsburgh can whine. Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league, so there’s no room for any other team to whine. We’ll just go about our business.”

-John Tortorella, head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets when asked about Brandon Dubinsky's suspension.  More on the Blue Jackets from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.

The video version via Sportsnet,

 

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John Tortorella After Thirty Days In Columbus

from Shawn Mitchell of Puck-Rakers,

Tortorella was asked to assess his first 30 days, personally and professionally, this afternoon. The Jackets are 8-7 since he replaced Todd Richards on Oct. 21.

Forget the personal part.

“The only thing I worry about is the team,” Tortorella said. “Am I where I want to be with the team? No. We still have a lot of work to do. The biggest points – and they are two things you can control: We need to be consistently harder, and we need to play with pace. Those are two big points that we’re trying to get situated.”

There is always a push when a coaching change is made. Cliché, but true. It wasn’t readily apparent when Tortorella took over – the Jackets were 4-3 in his first seven games – but there has not been a pronounced drop when the newness wore off, either.

“It’s been up and down,” Tortorella said. “I don’t look at it as a lull. It’s been up and down. A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game. Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”

more

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Video- John Tortorella After A 5-3 Loss To The Vancouver Canucks

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

Asked if Foligno was snakebit, Tortorella said, “That’s great. Snakebit. We need a big play out of him. He had a couple of chances to score. We’re going to say, ‘Nick, his game is coming.’ But to me, he needs to make a big play.

“We’ve got to stop these moral victories and find a way to grind that out. We were not hard enough when we were up 3-2. We were not hard enough mentally and defensively, away from the puck, and that’s what cost us that game.”

And that is the Blue Jackets’ season to date, in 100 words or fewer.

The Jackets are 4-12-0. They are 4-5 under Tortorella, and they have begun to describe their identity — which, in a word, is “tenacious.” Yet there are some lingering problems, which, for some strange reason, are most pronounced at home.

Tortorella called out the team’s captain, but only because Tortorella was asked about Foligno’s fruitless shot. He could have cited any number of players for crimes and misdemeanors.

more

Watch Tortorella after the loss below...

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“He’s John Tortorella”

from Dave Hodge of TSN,

"Thumbs down" to what rates a "thumbs up" in Columbus these days - a one-goal loss. In John Tortorella's first game behind the bench, the Blue Jackets were beaten 3-2 by Minnesota on Thursday night. Their first one-goal loss of the season, it was. The trouble is, of course, they don't have their first win yet.

But they do have their first taste of Tortorella. He's not just Todd Richards' replacement - he's John Tortorella, the coach who has run out of jobs... until he lands the next one. It seems there will always be another one, though Mike Keenan might have spoiled it for him in Russia. The Columbus players know about him if they don't actually know him. He has their attention already. Star centre Ryan Johansen was removed from the top line with Nick Foligno and Brandon Saad and didn't see the ice in the last six minutes of the loss to the Wild. Quite predictable and hardly dramatic that Torts would announce his arrival that way.

He preaches patience while he desperately seeks to end his new team's record-breaking eight-game losing streak. Thus, he is surely impatient. But don't ask him to explain his conflicting priorities. He's John Tortorella. 

read on for a look at the Habs goaltending...+

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Why John Tortorella Is The Head Coach In Columbus

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

So, why Torts?

With apologies to a credible but out-of-work NHL coach such as Randy Carlyle, the Jackets clearly weren’t enamored with the unemployed coaching pool. Columbus already took David Clarkson from the Toronto Maple Leaf tire fire, they weren’t about take the coach (Carlyle) who was consumed in that blaze, too.

Guy Boucher, who came within a Mike Babcock change of heart of being Toronto’s new coach and once chose Tampa over Columbus for his first NHL head-coaching gig, didn’t have an in-season out clause from his Swiss League contract. Which is to suggest if an NHL team really, really wanted Boucher, it could probably find a (financial) way to make that happen, but Columbus was looking for something fast and furious.

There are all sorts of up-and-comers in the coaching fraternity – Travis Green in Utica, amongst many more – but Columbus was dialing 9-1-1 and couldn’t or wouldn’t want to take a chance on a first-timer. Plus, from the moment Larry Brooks of the New York Post first legitimized in mainstream media the possibility of Tortorella to Columbus, you could sense the Jackets were going for a high-impact option, a move that would get its beleaguered fans to sit up and take notice. Love him or loathe him, Torts is that guy.

much more

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Video- Hockey Central On John Tortorella As The New Head Coach Of The Columbus Blue Jackets

via Sportsnet,

Hockey Central at Noon discussion on John Tortorella hopefully becoming the saviour in Columbus, with Nick Kypreos saying he’s a great coach and good guy, but the issue always becomes his off-ice antics.

 

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Live Stream- The Columbus Blue Jackets Introduce John Tortorella As Their Head Coach

The press conference is scheduled to begin at 12:45pm ET.

Watch below...

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Welcome John Tortorella To Columbus

added 9:15am, from TSN,

Columbus is the only NHL team without a point so far this season.

A limp start has been shocking, considering the Blue Jackets finished 2014-15 with a league-best 16-2-1 record and added blossoming star Brandon Saad from Chicago during the offseason. Columbus’ newly formed top line of Ryan Johansen, Saad and Nick Foligno combined for a staggering 29 points in just four games together during the pre-season.

Whether Columbus was overconfident heading into the season - after going 5-2-1 in exhibition action - any shred of mental fortitude was wiped away within a week. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky admitted after giving up a career-worst six goals in one game that he had “no confidence.” Bobrovsky, the former Vezina Trophy winner, allowed 23 goals in five starts for a mind-blowing .835 save percentage.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to one that is the opposite of that,” GM Jarmo Kekalainen told the Columbus Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.”

The time was now for Kekalainen to make a move.

more

added 10:47am, Columbus press release is below...

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John Tortorella Will Be Named Head Coach For Team USA World Cup Of Hockey Team

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John Tortorella Wants Another Shot At Coaching

from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,

"Yeah, I want to coach again,'' Tortorella said. "I hope I get that chance, and if I don't, well, then, that's just the way it is and I'll move on. But I do want to coach again.''

Tortorella splits his time these days between a place on Pass-A-Grille and a home in Stamford, Conn., outside New York City. In the summer he sneaks up to the backwoods of Wisconsin for some fishing and what he joked is a little of the "Swiss Family Robinson life.''

He kidded that not coaching has been hard on his marriage.

"Not for me,'' Tortorella said, "but for my wife. I think she's tired of having me around.''

His kids are grown. Son Nick serves in the Army. Daughter Brittany is a school teacher and a youth soccer coach.

But don't think Tortorella is just sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. The man who always coached by gut and instinct is embracing analytics. Along with longtime assistant Mike Sullivan, Tortorella has taken on what seems like an overwhelming project. He is breaking down every goal in the NHL last season to discover patterns or commonalties.

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How’s John Tortorella And Other Ex-Coaches

from James Duthie of TSN,

I get asked about Tortorella more than anyone else. He is the poster boy for how opposite a personality a man can have when he isn't in front of the microphones every night defending his power play. When he was at TSN, Torts was church-boy polite. Shy almost. He would struggle not to doze off during the double-headers because his usual bedtime is 9pm. Our top-ten lists show the one or two short clips when he got angry on the panel, ripping Sean Avery and The Quiz. The endless replays of those brief soundbites warp everyone's memory of the five months Torts spent with us. Reality is, he was mostly calm and quiet (to a fault for television), and said almost nothing controversial. Then he got the back behind the bench in New York, and later Vancouver, and...well we all watched it.

I checked in on Torts this week. He sounds happy (if you can actually "sound" something in a few texts), spending most of his time keeping up with the careers of his two grown children, and working with his wife on animal welfare causes (they have a house full of rescued dogs). I tried to ask a couple of hockey questions, but he chose not to answer, opting instead to just ask about my kids...and dogs. Wounds still too fresh, I assume.

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More Tortorella stories

This time of year tends to lend itself to all sorts of "reports" regarding fired and soon-to-be-fired coaches, and, as Sportsnet's Jeff Lowe noted, the Globe and Mail's Gary Mason leveled some pretty stiff assertions (via Twitter) regarding John Tortorella's misspent tenure with the Vancouver Canucks:

Some fascinating tidbits coming out about the brief Tortorella era in Vanc; including fact he wanted team to buy out Alex Burrows' contract.

...

Also hearing Torts didn't have a single convo with farm team head coach Travis Green all season; hard to imagine. #canucks

That would be Travis Green of the AHL's Utica Comets.

Also hearing players didn't feel Torts liked practicing enuf; he also accused David Booth of being late for team meeting he was early for

...

No coach perfect. And any time one departs under circumstances like Tort's then natural to expect some complaints/stories to later surface

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Can The Vancouver Canucks Recover?

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

Yes, the Canucks should have seen this coming in September. But they were blinded by the other things they thought they saw in Tortorella. The iron hand. The unrelenting intensity. There was a belief the Canucks had grown soft and comfortable under Alain Vigneault and, under Torts’ watch, the easy ride would be over. And it was.

So was the winning.

Again, in retrospect, it was a gross insult to players like the Sedins, Luongo, Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, etc., etc., that they needed a drill sergeant to get the best out of them. Those players were committed professionals. They were responsible for the most successful run in Canucks history. And suddenly they were being told they didn’t care enough and we’re bringing in someone who’ll make you care.

It’s little wonder no one in senior management was taking responsibility for Tortorella’s hiring.

Again, if there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s a simple one. There are no shortcuts in hockey. There are no instant fixes. You succeed by hiring good people to make intelligent, well-informed decisions. You build a team both on and off the ice which reflect the game’s time-honoured values. In Trevor Linden, the Canucks have a man who has a chance to create that organization. But, after this season, it will take time. A lot of time.

In the end, Tortorella should have been a one-night stand for the Canucks; one moment of impulsiveness which should have been forgotten as quickly as the thought entered their mind. Instead, it turned into a bad marriage that will leave a lingering scar on this team. The Canucks might get better. You just wonder if they’ll ever be the same.

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More about TSN’s report that John Tortorella will be relieved of his coaching duties

As Monica noted, TSN's Farhan Lalji reported that Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella will be fired on Thursday, and TSN posted a little backrounder:

The Vancouver Canucks are making a coaching change.

According to TSN's Vancouver reporter Farhan Lalji, the Canucks will fire head coach John Tortorella Thursday, one season after taking over for Alain Vigneault.

Tortorella missed six games this season due to suspension after confronting the Calgary Flames after a line brawl in their Jan. 18 games against the Canucks. He was suspended 15 days and was barred from contacting the Cancuks' team before, during or after games after trying to enter the Flames' dressing room.

The Canucks went 2-4 over that six game stretch. They were fourth in the Pacific Division and held the first Western Conference wild card playoff berth at the time of the incident against Calgary.

Tortorella, who was in the first year of a five-year, $10 million contract, joined the Canucks after being fired as head coach of the New York Rangers last season.

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Video- John Tortorella Not Happy With Bob Hartley

John Tortorella is not very fond of Calgary's head coach Bob Hartley and is upset about the hit on Daniel Sedin...

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John Tortorella Takes The High Road

from TSN,

A day after general manager Mike Gillis expressed doubt over his own future and that of his bench boss, Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella wouldn't let himself be drawn into the speculation.

"Mike Gillis is my boss and I can't speak for Mike," said Tortorella of his boss's comments on Friday afternoon. "I don't know how to answer to him because I can't speak for him. I don't want to do that. Mike and I are always talking, but to answer that, I just can't. It's not fair to him or me."

Sitting six points out of the final Wild Card in the Western Conference with only five games to play, the Canucks are set to miss the playoffs for just the third time in 13 seasons and first time since 2008. Still, Tortorella expressed no interest in publicly discussing his team's and, by extension, his own future.

"You're digging at a spot I'd rather talk internally about," said Tortorella. "That's probably something we can talk about after the season is over. I have to worry about coaching a hockey team. We have five more games, a team that needs to better and that's my focus."

continued

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John Tortorella- “What Is Fair?”

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

John Tortorella, self-deprecating in a way he never once was in five years in New York, took the words out of everyone’s mouths Monday, which is not such an easy thing to do.

“What is fair?” the coach of the Canucks replied when asked if it is fair to draw any conclusions in comparing his team’s lack of success with the success the Rangers are experiencing under Alain Vigneault in Year 1 of the cultural exchange behind the benches of the two franchises. “You’re going to make your own opinion.

“It’s kind of a unique thing with me and Alain. I’m losing games so I’m an idiot and he’s winning games so he’s a smart guy. Rightfully so.”

continued

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Canucks lose Kesler to knee-on-knee hit, send Kesler back to Vancouver for tests

The hits keep coming for the Canucks, per the Canadian Press...

Vancouver suffered another injury blow when centre Ryan Kesler left the game in the second period after a knee-on-knee collision with Jets centre Jim Slater. Canucks head coach John Tortorella said Kesler will be sent back to Vancouver for tests while his teammates keep travelling to games against Washington, Florida and Tampa Bay.

"He's going to get some imaging and we'll have a better indication of where he's at, but he's out for a while," Tortorella said.

Slater said he didn't intentionally try to hurt Kesler.

"I thought I had him lined up, he kind of bailed there at the last second there," Slater said. "I didn't stick my knee out or anything in his path, wasn't leading with my leg. I thought I actually took the worst of it. Obviously, if he's hurt bad, I feel bad about that. It wasn't any intent. I thought I had him lined up and at the last second he tried to jump out of the way."

And an NHL video provided by the Hockey News's Matt Larkin:

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Fingers Pointing At Tortorella

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.

more

added 10:57am, from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,

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Video- “We Need To Change The Complexion Of Our Hockey Club” -John Tortorella

Some strong words from Coach Tortorella post-game after a 2-0 loss to the Wings last night.

 

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

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Video- Tortorella After Morning Skate

Tortorella talked to the media today after the Canucks skated this morning.

He addressed his suspension and then talked about the team, which is struggling at this point.

He says his team needs to be competitive, which it has not been lately.

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Morning Line

 


Tortorella today after the monring skate in Detroit.

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