John Tortorella is mad again.
Thursday night after the Blue Jackets lost 4-1, Tortorella met with the press. For three minutes and forty-three seconds, the Blue Jackets head coach was composed.
“It was struggle for our whole team against Washington tonight. Give them credit,” Tortorella said. “They played a really good game. We fed right into it through the whole team.”
He was inspiring.
“We are not down in the damn series,” Tortorella said. “Yeah, would we like to get something done at home? A great building both nights. We come up empty. Guys want to perform, make the fans happy. I feel for them in that way. Let’s just forget about it and get to our next game. We’ll have a good practice tomorrow, bang it around, get our hands back, and go play an afternoon game.”
And then a reporter asked one too many questions about the team’s performance Thursday and Torts cracked.
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“We weren’t good. We weren’t good,” Tortorella said emphactically. “There’s no sense in asking me things about the game. I’m telling you. We laid an egg. I’m not going to break it down for you. We sucked! We sucked! So let’s move by it and see if we play better Saturday afternoon.”
The Columbus Dispatch’s George Richards asked a followup.
“We laid an egg. That’s all I have to say, guys,” Tortorella said. “I’m sorry. I’m not going to break it down for you. Nothing went well for us. It’s on us. We have to figure it out and we will.”
During the game, Torts was shown trying to fire up his team.
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“Athletes know when they’re struggling as a group,” Tortorella said. “The biggest thing I was fighting with them just to tell them — you could see we were getting frustrated and yapping at the other team — just the whole demeanor coming to the bench, you could see we were beginning to lose our composure. We can’t go down that road. It’s a series. We did not have a good 60 minutes tonight. But we’re not down in the series. Wipe it clean. It’s a three-game series now. I just don’t want them to down the road of tying themselves up even more. They’re good players. We’re a really good team. We just need to move by this as quickly as possible and play our game.”
The Columbus Blue Jackets have never won a playoff series as a franchise. After winning both games in Washington to start the series, this year appeared to be the year. All the Blue Jackets had to do was win one game at home during Games Three and Four to keep control of the series.
Instead the Blue Jackets “laid an egg” and will travel to Washington Saturday with the series tied.
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