I must admit I like Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella when he's angry. Not that I want to see the man suffer and be made to be angry purely for my own personal enjoyment, but there is something both entertaining and honest about the straight shooting coach when he lets his temper get the better of him.
Now to be sure Tortorella has drastically improved during his time as a head coach in the National Hockey League and no doubt age has played a significant role in that development, however on Sunday night we saw some signs of the old John Tortorella come to the surface. The Blue Jackets bench boss was outraged after a shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night and he was outraged not at his players, not at the Chicago Blackhawks, but at the National Hockey League and the work done by its officiating crews. Tortorella was upset that the game clock was not properly reset by the officials after the whistle was blown late in the game, a decision that he believes led to a chain of events including the loss of the game for his team, as well as an injury to his goaltender Joonas Korpisalo.
"The whistle is blown at 19.2 on the clock," began Tortorella. "For some reason the clock is run down a second and a tenth to 18.1. Whatever reason, I have no goddamn idea. So instead of resetting the clock, we have them tell our captain we're not going to do it. Toronto doesn't step in, refs don't do their freaking job, and now we lose a game, and we lose our goalie. So the chain of events, if it was done right, we don't lose our goalie we win the hockey game. So all of this goddamn technology, right? The technology and getting things right... the stubbornness tonight, by the officials, and by the league, and by Toronto, however it's supposed to goddamn work, screws us. It's ridiculous. I'm not taking any goddamn questions."
Korpisalo was of course injured after a deke from Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews in the shootout, and no doubt that proved to be the match that lit the fuse this evening for Tortorella. If you would like to hear it in his own words, Tortorella smashing his fist into the podium and all, check out the short video clip below.