John Tortorella has a reputation for his fiery confrontations with the press. That was something he wanted to move away from when he took the head coaching job with the Vancouver Canucks, although that didn’t stop him from accusing his critics of ignorance when it comes to playing style the team is trying to execute.
But after the Canucks were officially eliminated from the playoffs courtesy of a lackluster performance against Anaheim, Tortorella wasn’t in the mood to come out swinging.
He conceded that the Canucks didn’t play well enough last night, but he otherwise politely refused to criticize them.
“It doesn’t do anybody any good right now to be critical,” Tortorella said.
After all, the damage is done. If Tortorella is to be fired this summer — and there’s certainly a contingent that’s pushing for that — nothing he says or does now is likely to change that.
Instead Tortorella talked about giving some of the team’s young players, like goaltender Jacob Markstrom, a shot. Essentially kicking off the team’s 2014-15 evaluation process early because these last games have about as much meaning to Vancouver now as training camp contests.
Meanwhile, the criticism of his performance continues to mount. Per Vancouver Province columnist Tony Gallagher:
When Canucks coach John Tortorella called a time out early in the second period and assembled his troops, you have to wonder what he told them.
Whatever was said, it was clear this group is absolutely done with the fellow and any thoughts of bringing him back should be banished permanently because any attempt to sell this unwatchable crap next season will result in the total evacuation of Rogers Arena.
Just one more week of this and then the Canucks’ intentions will slowly start to become apparent.