John Tortorella Defended His Team and Offered a Classic Torts Take On The "Giveaways" Stat

By Dan Dukart on December 6, 2018 at 1:07 pm
John Tortorella looks on as his Blue Jackets take on the Dallas Stars on November 12th in Dallas.

Jerome Miron – USA TODAY Sports

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John Tortorella can be a hard man to pin down.

A day removed from a disastrous 9-6 home loss to the Calgary Flames, he was adamant in support of his team. In many ways, it was similar to his thoughts after the loss. 

It's not unusual for a coach to defend his team, but I'd be lying if I told you that I expected him to be so amicable towards the Blue Jackets, who botched a 4-1 lead and couldn't keep a beach ball out of their net.

 Here's Tortorella on his team:

"Oh, I think we've improved of late. I think we've made a really good improvement of late as far as scoring chances against us, and goals against us. We've improved there (on odd-man rushes), too. I'm not going to manufacture things for you because we lose 9-6. It's an easy thing to do."

He went on: "I'm breaking the tape down, and I still get probably a period and five minutes left, and we've given up (just) three or four scoring chances against us, and it's a 4-3 game. You guys talk about goals against, (but) I don't think we generated enough offense the second half of that game." 

"It's easy to come here in the morning and say, 'man, we let our foot off the gas' or whatever it is... we were trying, we were trying to push the pace and not sit on it. But we didn't create enough offense."

Tortorella may be the only coach in the NHL to almost blame his offense for scoring just six goals, but it's an interesting viewpoint nonetheless.

Later in the scrum, Tortorella was asked about giveaways and if his staff places importance on the NHL's bookkeeping of the stat. His response was an all-time classic:

"That is the most useless stat on that piece of paper. I'm not a General Manager, (but) I think arbitration and stuff like that come into play with those silly stats on that piece of paper. Half of it's bullshit. I've always said this, that sheet of paper you get in between periods – they took probably the most important part of it out a number of years ago – and that was zone time. It is ignorant, and it's just typical. It's just so ignorant when they took out the offensive zone time and all that. That's an important stat. But the giveaways and the takeaways... it's utter bullshit."

He also defended his goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who was in for eight of the nine goals allowed before he was mercifully yanked from the game. Here's Tortorella on his play:

"It was one of the craziest games around our goal as far as pucks going in. And I'll revamp the stat: the chances were 16 to 13, us, through the game. So 13 chances, nine goals, and quite honestly, I can't blame Bob on a lot of them, because it was just said a crazy game in front of him.... So I think we got to be really careful on grading Bob in that type of game. There was a lot of shit going on in front of that net."

Never a dull moment in Tortorella-land, though, should the Blue Jackets lay an egg against their divisional opponent Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night, I wouldn't imagine to see this same restraint from the Blue Jackets' head coach.

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