Columbus Blue Jackets' Seth Jones, left, works for the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins' Chris Kunitz during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio Friday, March 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
Associated Press

Seth Jones ‘has handled himself very well’ since joining Jackets, says Tortorella

Seth Jones will be hitting the ice in Nashville for the first time since the Predators traded him to the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this year.

Jones spent the first two and half years of his NHL career with the Preds and he’s excited to be going back to his old stomping grounds.

“It’s going to be exciting,” Jones said, per The Dispatch. “I’m looking forward to it. I was there two years, and it’s the team that drafted me. So it’ll be a special game, for sure.

“I enjoyed the whole experience I had there. I had an opportunity to play at a young age, and I had an opportunity to learn from veteran defensemen. I learned a lot while I was there.”

The 21-year-old has not only seen his offensive production increase since his move to Columbus, but he’s also seen his role change quite a bit. In Nashville, he played over 20 minutes a night in 14 of 40 games this season and averaged 19:39 of ice time. In Columbus, he hasn’t played less than 21:16 in a game. He’s averaging 24:28 under head coach John Tortorella.

“We’ve put him in a totally different position than he was in Nashville,” coach John Tortorella said. “I think he has handled himself very well.”

Jones made some strides during his time with the Predators. He was able to develop at a slower pace because he had talented defenseman like Shea Weber and Roman Josi going up against the opposition’s top lines. That may have been a good approach for him early in his career, but now he’s ready to accelerate his development.

“I think I was developing well in Nashville,” Jones said, per the Tennessean. “At the same time, obviously everyone wants to develop as fast as they possibly can, and I’m the same way. So I think here I can develop a little bit quicker.

“(It’s different) watching someone play the minutes. You have to learn from experience, I think.”

Related:

Johansen: ‘I wish I was still a Blue Jacket’

Jackets’ Johnson to have shoulder surgery, will miss rest of season

Ottawa Senators  v Columbus Blue Jackets
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The Blue Jackets announced this morning that defenseman Jack Johnson will have arthroscopic shoulder surgery tomorrow. He’ll miss the rest of the season.

Johnson hasn’t played since Feb. 25 when he was forced to leave a game against the Devils. It was originally estimated he would be out two weeks with what the club called an upper-body injury. But head coach John Tortorella told reporters last week that Johnson was still “a distance away” and would see a doctor again.

Johnson will finish the season with six goals and eight assists in 60 games. The 29-year-old averaged 24:11 in ice time.

Tortorella drops Forrest Gump reference to show disdain for coach’s challenge

Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella, center, reacts to a penalty between Boone Jenner, left, and Jared Boll during the second period an NHL hockey game against the  Winnipeg Jets  in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. Winnipeg won 3-2. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
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John Tortorella isn’t a fan of the coach’s challenge, and he let everyone know it on Monday night.

After he challenged the call on the ice, Torts was expecting the officials to overturn Loui Eriksson‘s first period goal because he felt the Bruins forward’s skate impeded goalie Joonas Korpisalo from making the save.

The officials decided to stick with the original call. Good goal.

Does Tortorella have a case? You be the judge.

The Blue Jackets won the game, 6-4, but you can just imagine what Torts’ mood was like after the game.

“Just get rid of the coach’s challenge. Just get rid of it,” said Tortorella, per The Dispatch. “The whole (reason for) being of the coach’s challenge is to get it right. If we can’t get it right on that call, then get rid of the coach’s challenge. All I did was waste a timeout. It’s discouraging. That is a no-brainer call. If they vote again for it, no coach’s challenge as far as this organization is concerned.”

When he was asked about Bruins head coach Claude Julien challenging a call later in the game (the ruling went Columbus’ way), Torts offered this gem of a quote:

“Claude does the right thing to make the call. Why not? It’s a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”

Tortorella (broken ribs) will be behind Jackets’ bench on Tuesday

Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella gives instructions during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Associated Press

After breaking two ribs during a team practice earlier this month, John Tortorella will be back behind Columbus’ bench in Edmonton on Tuesday night.

Torts was hurt after forward Rene Bourque slid into him.

Per The Dispatch, the Jackets’ bench boss will travel to Edmonton with his team on Monday and he’s expected to be present when practice gets underway at 4:00 p.m. mountain time.

Associate coach Craig Hartsburg, who replaced Tortorella during his absence, dropped a shootout decision to Boston in his first game, but he followed that up with back-to-back wins against Montreal before the break.

In other injury-related news, backup goalie Curtis McElhinney is also expected to travel to Edmonton.

The 32-year-old has missed the last 11 games with an ankle injury. With starter Sergei Bobrovsky also on the shelf, the Blue Jackets have been forced to roll with rookies Anton Forsberg and Joonas Korpisalo in goal.

Related: After a rough start to his NHL career, Korpisalo’s been much better of late

The team still isn’t sure if McElhinney will be cleared to play during their upcoming three-game road trip in Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary.

Tortorella (broken ribs) to miss series versus Habs

Tortorella
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The broken ribs suffered by Columbus head coach John Tortorella will keep him out of tonight’s game at home against Montreal, and tomorrow’s return date at the Bell Center.

Tortorella was hurt during an outdoor practice last Friday following a collision with forward Rene Bourque. He was sent to a local hospital and diagnosed with broken ribs; the following day, assistant coach Craig Hartsburg took over bench boss duties for a 3-2 shootout loss to the Bruins.

The Jackets are 17-20-4 under Tortorella this year, after he replaced Todd Richards in late October. Torts’ time in Columbus has been colorful, to say the least — his contentious relationship with Ryan Johansen ended with the blockbuster trade for Seth Jones earlier this month, and there have been other fairly high-profile benchings and healthy scratches (most recently with veteran forward Scott Hartnell.)