Torts turns to Bobrovsky, who feels ‘responsibility’ for Richards firing

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In John Tortorella’s first big decision as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Sergei Bobrovsky will be back in goal tonight versus the Wild in Minnesota.

Tortorella made the announcement this morning, the day after he was named the team’s new coach.

The decision to go with Bobrovsky over backup Curtis McElhinney shouldn’t really come as a surprise, as the Jackets won’t be going anywhere if Bobrovsky doesn’t find his game, regardless of who’s behind the bench.

“We know he’s not an .835 goalie,” Tortorella told the Columbus Dispatch yesterday. “That position, as you well know, is the most important position in all of the major sports. More than the starting pitcher, more than the point guard or center, more than the quarterback. It’s a huge position in hockey. He knows that.

“He lost himself a little bit and I think it’s probably chipped him down. He needs to get one good game under his belt and then maybe it takes off. This guy’s a Vezina winner. We know how good he can be. That determines the personality of the team, that position. It’s a very important position.”

Bobrovsky felt badly that his poor play was a factor in the firing of Todd Richards.

“Richie is a good coach, a good man,” he said. “I didn’t play well for him this season. I feel responsibility, of course.”

Related: Can Torts save the Jackets?