Associated Press

Tortorella says ‘there’s been zero discussion’ about taking the ‘C’ away from Foligno

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After posting career numbers in 2014-15, Nick Foligno has had a tough time producing this season.

Current Jackets coach John Tortorella wasn’t behind the bench when Foligno was named the captain, but despite questioning the leadership in his locker room on more than one occasion, Tortorella has no plans to remove the “C” from Foligno’s jersey.

“It’s been a bad year for Nick, and he has to understand that and he has to look at himself,” Tortorella said, per the Dispatch. “He needs to get himself straightened up. Nobody else can do it other than him.

“Nick is our captain. There’s been zero discussion of (changing captains).”

The 28-year-old hasn’t recorded a point in his last 11 games and he has just nine goals and 34 points in 67 games this season. Those numbers are way down from last year, when Foligno scored 31 goals and 73 points.

“There’s a lot of things about my game this season that have just … fooled me,” Foligno said. “I’ve gone through every emotion possible. Anger. Frustration. Disappointment. Eventually you realize that those things don’t make it better.

“I’m trying to be a good leader for this team and find my way through it. I know it’s not going to last. I know I’ll be a better player for it and come out on the other side.”

Being a rookie captain in the NHL isn’t always easy (just ask Max Pacioretty, for example). But it’s good to know that Tortorella won’t take drastic measures after a failed season from the Blue Jackets. As you may remember, Torts stripped Vincent Lecavalier of the captaincy when they were both in Tampa Bay a few years ago.

 

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

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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

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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

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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

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.