Two pre-competition games into the World Cup and John Tortorella has issued a challenge to a player through the media.
Max Pacioretty was on the receiving end of Tortorella’s message following Team USA’s loss to Team Canada. The Montreal Canadiens captain didn’t have a point, and only one shot on goal and one hit in 10:05 of ice time in Saturday’s game.
So Torts, when asked, did what Torts has a tendency to do: Give us something to talk about. Nothing really subtle about it from Team USA’s head coach.
“He’s OK. Yeah. But I need more out of him,” said Tortorella, as per Sportsnet. “I know how he can play. And this is what happens in this type of tournament and the team make-up. You’re not going to get your 20 minutes. If other people are going, they tend to take some ice time. You look at … Canada’s team, your minutes are going to be down.
“But Max hasn’t … he’s got to give me some reason to give him more minutes here. So we’ll see where it goes. We know he’s a really good player. Great kid. But we’ve just got to get a little more out of him.”
In the first pre-tournament game against Canada on Friday, Pacioretty had one shot on goal in 14:51 of ice time.
Team USA finishes its trio of tune-up games on Tuesday, as they face Finland.
Now, over to Pacioretty for a response.
John Tavares started the game off by running Ryan Kesler into the boards. The New York Islanders star then went on to score twice and Team Canada was thorough in its 5-2 victory over Team USA in Ottawa on Saturday.
After a chippy, physical — reckless, at times — game between the rival hockey nations on Friday, there were moments in the rematch when it looked like emotions could erupt. After what Kesler did to Canadian defenseman Shea Weber the previous night, Tavares wasted no time throwing a hard hit on the American forward on the first shift Saturday.
Joe Thornton targeted Kesler later in the first period with a late hit and was penalized accordingly. Alex Pietrangelo was seen in discomfort, appearing to favor his right arm at times during this game. And a melee broke out at the final buzzer, before players separated.
For all the shenanigans that occurred, the Canadian power play made the U.S. pay.
Canada held the advantage in shots once again, finishing with 38 shots on goal, to 23 for the U.S. (Team USA had 25 hits, compared to 16 for Team Canada.)
Canada also capitalized on three of its eight power play chances, and that was without Sidney Crosby, who was scratched for tonight’s contest in a back-to-back pre-tournament situation.
Team USA goalie Cory Schneider gave up four goals on 24 shots in two periods of work. Three of those goals came within a span of 4:24 in the first period. Now, it will be interesting to see how much influence this result has on John Tortorella’s goaltending decision for the tournament.
Jonathan Quick, who started Friday, didn’t play Saturday. Ben Bishop once again played the final 20 minutes, with one goal allowed on 14 shots.
Calgary Flames fans hoping Johnny Gaudreau‘s contract situation would be resolved at some point during the World Cup of Hockey are probably going to be out of luck.
If Team North America, which Gaudreau plays for, makes it all the way to the final game of the tournament, that would go on Oct. 1, provided the final best-of-three series goes the distance.
The Flames begin the regular season on Oct. 12, so between the conclusion of the World Cup and the start of the NHL regular season, there’s still time to get a deal done with the 23-year-old restricted free agent forward.
But for now, Johnny Hockey’s focus is on the World Cup.
“I didn’t want to get it in my head,” Gaudreau has told TSN.
“I don’t think I’m going to talk to my agent for the next 20 or 30 days about the contract. I’m here for Team North America and I want to put that aside and worry about playing time for this team. After the tournament, we’ll see how the contract is going.”
It’s been reported that Gaudreau’s camp is asking for something in the range of $8 million a year. It was also noted on PHT that he isn’t eligible for arbitration rights, or to sign an offer sheet.
That dollar figure would make him Calgary’s highest paid player if he is indeed paid what he’s asking.
Gaudreau had 30 goals and 78 points in 79 games last season.
Monahan seems confident Gaudreau will sign before season begins
Jeff Petry‘s first season in Montreal after signing his lucrative contract extension with the Habs didn’t go according to plan for both the player and team.
The Habs, after the injury to Carey Price, fell apart and fell out of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Petry, 28 years old and signed to a six-year, $33 million deal, had five goals and 16 points to go with a strong 54.5 per cent Corsi For rating at even strength — in 51 games played.
But his season was cut short due to injury. He underwent sports hernia surgery in March and was expected to be out for 12 weeks. But the right-shooting defenseman expressed optimism with how his offseason workouts have progressed, as he looks to enter training camp for the new season in good health.
“After taking a little time off, I got back in the gym in June and jumped right back in as if I didn’t have the surgery,” Petry told the Habs’ website.
“I was actually kind of surprised how strong I was going in terms of lifting. I was lifting more than I did last summer. That was good for me to see, and I was feeling stronger than in previous years. I feel good.”
His recovery may have gone under the radar, especially after the controversial summer the Habs had, dealing P.K. Subban for Shea Weber.
Team USA has its starting goalie for tonight’s World Cup pre-tournament rematch with Team Canada.
According to numerous reports, Cory Schneider will get the start before Ben Bishop takes over to begin the third period.
Head coach John Tortorella went with that plan in Friday’s game, the only difference being that Jonathan Quick started and Bishop took over for the final 20 minutes.
Last season with the New Jersey Devils, the 30-year-old Schneider posted four shutouts and a .924 save percentage in 58 games.
Forget physical play, the key for Team USA is clearly the goaltending