Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella has a strong opinion about overtime that he needed to share on Friday.
A day after the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 in the extra session, Tortorella revealed his disdain for the shootout, which some analysts, like Capitals’ senior writer Mike Vogel, have referred to as the skills competition.
The exchange happens at the 7:34 mark of the video.
A reporter pointed out to Tortorella that it was notable that the Blue Jackets had only played in one shootout game three quarters into the season. “You guys keep winning these things,” the reporter remarked to Torts.
“Three-on-three, Matt,” Torts interjected. “Three-on-three.”
“How nice has it been to add those points?
“Get rid of the shootout,” Tortorella said. “Just play three-on-three until a team dies. I think that’s the way it should be. It’s exciting, yeah!”
John Tortorella: "Get rid if the shootout, just play the 3-on-3 until a team dies." pic.twitter.com/o4rv7Ut4vC
— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) March 2, 2019
Tortorella then gave some background to what it was like coaching the hectic extra session before Seth Jones ultimately scored.
“Did you see Dubois before Jones scored. I was screaming at him for 15-20 seconds,” Tortorella said. “He could barely get to the bench. You know I’m not a gimmick guy. I think it has to be determined within the game. Three-on-three isn’t a total team, but it’s still three-on-three. Let the games end there. I think it’s exciting, I do. I have to watch myself. I get caught up watching and I almost forget who’s up next because I’m watching the three-on-three. I think it’s really good for the game.”
Tortorella was then asked if he would he be in favor of playing adding five more minutes to overtime.
“Three-on-three until you die,” Tortorella said, garnering laughs from the media. “And then it’s going to be over. It’s going to be over. I know there’s other things (to consider): TV, how much the time goes (on). It’s not going to last long, so let them play.”
While Tortorella wants to change how overtime is played in the regular season, he does not want the playoffs to change a bit, despite not winning a round in the postseason while head coach of the Blue Jackets.
“Playoffs are a different story,” Tortorella said. “I don’t want to lose that part of the playoffs. I think the attrition of playoffs in a seven-game series against the same team, I think that all comes into play and playing it out the regular way. But here in the regular season when we’re trying to sell the game and we’re trying to score goals, I think it’s exciting. I think it’s fun to watch.”
Only Toronto, Ottawa, and Dallas have played in less games that have gone to a shootout this season: zero.
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