The Columbus Blue Jackets came out on top during the qualifying round of the postseason in this summer’s Return to Play plan by the NHL, ousting the Toronto Maple Leafs in five games and moving on to face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round. While they were eliminated at that point, the Jackets did have an impressive run, but what we remember most is when head coach John Tortorella got into an explosive screaming match with forward Pierre-Luc Dubois on the bench during the third game of the series agains Toronto.
Auston Matthews had finally been able to break the Joonas Korpisalo wall and take the lead in the game, and it got to Torts’ temper. We cannot say exactly what happened but when Dubois returned to the bench, he faced an angry Torts who simply went off on him. Dubois couldn’t handle it anymore and talked back to his head coach, who completely lost it and did not appreciate his player’ nerve to respond.
On Thursday, Dubois finally explained what happened during that fight to the Journal de Montreal. He noted that his head is passionate and intense, but he did personally need to be motivate to win the game because he always is when he steps on the ice.
“Yes, I remember the scene. He yelled at me on the team bench. There are guys who would probably react differently. To fans, it may also seem strange. But it was not a first for me. I know John's temperament and he also knows my character. I respect him as a coach. He is demanding and he wants to bring out the best of his players.”
“There is also a business side to all of this,” Dubois added. “It's the coach who puts the lines together and decides who plays. The players, we are paid to play, do not make these decisions. To be honest, I wasn't more motivated in the next game following his intervention. It didn't bother me. It wasn't the first time this has happened and it won't be the last time. John is like that. We are two very competitive people and we have the same goal, victory. ”
“In the playoffs, you don't need any extra motivation. If you lack motivation, you are not playing the right sport.”
And so while Dubois does not need to get yelled at to be motivated, we all know Torts will not stop doing it!