Make that nine straight wins for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Make that career win No. 500 for head coach John Tortorella.
The Blue Jackets continued their recent run as the league’s hottest team with a 4-3 overtime victory on Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks — the same team Tortorella coached for one tumultuous and ultimately disappointing season.
Per the NHL, Tortorella is the first American-born coach to reach the milestone.
Seth Jones scored the winner in the three-on-three session, as the Blue Jackets were able to regroup following a difficult third period on the road.
The Canucks have shown a penchant for wild and unpredictable third periods this season. They’ve come back to earn wins, and they’ve collapsed in epic fashion to lose points, as well.
This time, they managed to score three times in the final period of regulation, gaining at least a point.
The Blue Jackets, the surprise turnaround team in the league so far this season, are one point back of the Rangers (in action tonight versus New Jersey) and the Penguins for the lead in the Metropolitan Division.
But there is no doubt this is a big win for Tortorella, as well. He’s a polarizing figure in the hockey world.
His time in Vancouver generated headlines on a constant basis, in what can be considered only as a spectacular failure, despite what was actually a strong start for the team under his guidance.
The timing of Tortorella’s visit back to Vancouver comes not only with his own team on a roll, but with the Canucks struggling and their current coach, Willie Desjardins, on the hot seat.
He’s been there for some time.