It’s fair to say Canucks coach John Tortorella was very emotional early in Vancouver’s 3-2 shootout victory over Calgary given that he, you know, actually approached the Flames dressing room during the first intermission to continue yelling at them.
He still seemed pretty raw when it was time for his postgame press conference, but he still offered his account of what happened.
When Tortorella saw that the Calgary Flames intended to start the game with their tough guys, he felt he had to respond in kind. He didn’t want to risk putting the Sedin twins out there to potentially get injured. That led to the massive line brawl at the start of the game.
“I’m not proud of it. I have apologized to everyone of the players involved in it,” Tortorella said.
If he could do one thing differently though, it would have been to keep rookie Kellan Lain out of the opening lineup. The 24-year-old was making his NHL debut and it only lasted two seconds because he was one of the eight players that received a game misconduct for being involved in the melee that ensued.
“That’s my biggest mistake … I’ll kick myself forever,” Tortorella said.
When the subject moved to his incident near the Flames’ locker room, he said that he wouldn’t “go there.” He was then asked if he thought he crossed a line.
“Please, don’t push me,” Tortorella responded. “I’ll answer your questions, I’ve tried to be honest as possible with (what happened at the beginning of the game), but I’m not going to go into the other stuff.”
Moving on from the fight, Tortorella added that he felt he had to take Henrik Sedin out of the game, who attempted to play through a rib injury. Sedin is day-to-day.
Here is the full press conference: