Eddie Lack, Joe Colborne, Dan Hamhuis

‘It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,’ writes Vancouver reporter


From The Province’s Jason Botchford, in the wake of last night’s monumental Canucks collapse versus the Islanders:

Seven goals, one period.

This, for a coach whose whole system is based around his team’s ability to keep pucks out of the net.

This, for a coach who chased out Roberto Luongo when he didn’t start him at the Heritage Classic.

It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year.

You can’t oversee the disintegration of a team like this and recover.

The fans won’t have it. The players won’t have it. And even if you hire a new GM, there is no way he’ll have it.

In fact, Botchford thinks there’s a good chance Tortorella won’t be behind the bench tomorrow when the Canucks play the Jets in Winnipeg.

Who exactly pushed for Tortorella’s hiring has always been a big question in Vancouver. If it truly was Mike Gillis, it was an odd choice for a general manager who had always prided himself on a progressive hockey philosophy. Tortorella is more of an old-school coach, which is why many believe it was Canucks ownership that wanted him, not Gillis.

We wondered last week if Tortorella’s system was a major part of the problem in Vancouver, and certainly nothing we’ve seen since has made us stop wondering.

There’s plenty of blame to go around for the current state of the Canucks. The coach. The general manager. The players. And yes, ownership. All of them are responsible in some way. It’s just a matter now of figuring out who’s around next season. Ownership will be. The rest still need to be determined.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?