Ryan Dadoun

John Tortorella

PHT Morning Skate: Hartley predicts friendlier relationship with Tortorella this time


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley thinks things will be friendlier between him and John Tortorella now that they’re in different conferences. (Wes Gilbertson)

While we’re on the subject of Tortorella, if you missed it before, here’s a look back at his greatest soundbites:

After being shutout by Montreal on Tuesday, St. Louis Blues forward Steve Ott remarked that the Canadiens “defensive system is Carey Price.” (Fox Sports)

GoPro released a video featuring U.S. Olympian Hilary Knight, which both discusses the importance of being comfortable with yourself and shows off her skills on the ice:

Here are the highlights from Philadelphia’s 5-4 overtime win against Boston last night:

Capitals coach Barry Trotz attended a practice that his two nephews were a part of and gave their excited teammates some pointers. (Calgary Sun)

Nathan Gerbe on the advantages of meditation. (The News & Observer)

Torts time: Jackets fire Richards and turn to Tortorella

John Tortorella
AP Photo

After a season-long absence from the NHL, John Tortorella is back.

This time, it’s with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have fired coach Todd Richards after an 0-7-0 start to what was supposed to be a breakout season. The news was first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Richards was in his fifth season in Columbus, but had only led the team to the playoffs once and never won a postseason series.

By contrast, Tortorella brings a lengthy track record of success. He has won the Stanley Cup and is the winningest American-born coach in history with a 446-375-37-78 career regular-season record. At the same time, Tortorella was fired in both 2013 and 2014 by the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks, respectively.

Tortorella’s season with Vancouver went about as poorly as possible, as the Canucks failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The team scored just 196 goals, its lowest full-season total since 1998-99.

Tortorella is known for his clashes with the media, although he did feel that he made strides to improve that while in Vancouver. He was also suspended for 15 days during the 2013-14 campaign for attempting to confront Calgary coach Bob Hartley between periods after a line brawl at the start of a game.

Ultimately, Tortorella didn’t blame the Canucks for firing him. That being said, don’t expect him to be a totally changed man when he takes over the Jackets.

“Don’t blow your philosophy up because it was a tough year,” he said last month. “You still need to have confidence in yourself, and stay with your convictions and philosophy.”

Vancouver will receive a second-round pick from Columbus as compensation for the hiring, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

The Blue Jackets start a four-game road trip Thursday in Minnesota.

Related: USA Hockey confirms John Tortorella will coach World Cup squad

NHL on NBCSN: Bruins look to continue climb vs. Flyers

Brad Marchand, Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier
AP Photo

NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Boston Bruins host the Philadelphia Flyers at 8:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.

After winning games in Colorado and Arizona, the Bruins’ next task will be to earn their first victory at TD Garden in 2015-16 when they face the Flyers tonight.

The Bruins allowed 16 goals over their three games at home, but two of those contest were against the formidable Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning. Boston was also missing captain Zdeno Chara for two of the games in addition to Dennis Seidenberg. The squad is still without the services of Seidenberg, but the Bruins’ shots allowed has dropped from 35 per game without Chara to roughly 22.7 since his return.

Their offense has also heated up too. Patrice Bergeron stood out on Saturday with three points, including two goals in the final 11 minutes of Boston’s 5-3 win. Meanwhile, David Krejci has been one of the best players so far this season with four goals and five assists in five contests.

That’s an edge the Bruins have over Philadelphia as its top forwards haven’t broken out yet. Claude Giroux has been limited to a goal and an assist in five contests while Jakub Voracek only has one point.

The lack of early output from the Flyers’ stars is a big part of the reason why they’ve scored less than three goals in four of their five contests. They need that to change sooner rather than later, but in the short-term they might be able to win on the strength of their defense and goaltending.

Mason made 30 saves in Philadelphia’s 2-1 loss to Dallas last night and while he’s likely to get the night off, that’s not necessarily a break for Boston as backup goaltender Michal Neuvirth has shutout his last two opponents.

A win tonight for Boston would bring the squad to .500 before it has to begin a tough eight-game stretch in its schedule that includes six road contests. Philadelphia is going into this game with a 2-2-1 record after taking four of six points during its three-game homestand.

PHT Morning Skate: Taylor Hall celebrates Halloween early

Taylor Hall
Getty Images
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Taylor Hall has a pretty impressive Halloween costume:

Lauri Korpikoski has earned the trust of Oilers coach Todd McLellan. (Edmonton Sun)

The Anaheim Ducks’ upcoming five-game road trip could be vital for coach Bruce Boudreau. (Los Angeles Times)

Here are the highlights from Dallas’ 2-1 victory over Philadelphia:

Vancouver Canucks prospect Brock Boeser is the first University of North Dakota freshman since T.J. Oshie to score a hat trick. (Vancouver Sun)

As previously mentioned, former NHL forward Patrick O’Sullivan has a book that’s been released called “Breaking Away: A Harrowing True Story of Resilience, Courage and Triumph,” which details the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father. Yesterday he did a reddit AMA to promote it. (Reddit)

Finally, let’s end on an unfortunate note regarding Craig Hartsburg:

NHL on NBCSN: Hot Stars, Flyers collide


NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Philadelphia Flyers host the Dallas Stars at 7:30 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.

The Dallas Stars entered the 2014-15 campaign with a lot of intrigue, but by the time they gained any traction the Stars had dug themselves into a hole that they ultimately couldn’t recover from. While the story this season has been much different, it will only matter if they can build off of their 4-1-0 start.

That task will continue tonight with Dallas visits Philadelphia.

Known first and foremost for its offense, Dallas certainly has lived up to expectations in that regard by scoring at least three goals in each of its first five games. Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Jason Spezza have naturally led the charge, but part of their early success can be attributed to the hot starts of Ales Hemsky (1G, 5A in five games), Mattias Janmark (2G, 2A), and Cody Eakin (3G, 1A).

Of course, the bigger question surrounding the Stars going into the season was how their goaltending tandem of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi was going to shake out and while it’s too early to jump to any conclusions, they’ve certainly held their own thus far. It’s not clear which of them will start tonight, but if you want an interesting goaltender storyline, then the Flyers are the team to look at.

Steve Mason had a rough outing on Oct. 10 and couldn’t play on Oct. 12 for personal reasons. Michal Neuvirth started in his place and has gone on to post back-to-back shutouts.

The question now is if the Flyers should go back to Mason or continue to ride the hot hand in Neuvirth. Philadelphia is also scheduled to play on Wednesday against the Boston Bruins, so that has to be factored into coach Dave Hakstol’s decision.

Either way, the Flyers will be looking for more from Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, who have combined for just three points over the Flyers’ first four games. Philadelphia is 2-1-1 despite that sluggish start, but if the Flyers are to make the playoffs this season, that duo will need to step up. Perhaps that will happen tonight.

Update: The Flyers announced that Mason will get the nod tonight.