Much has been made of the Bob Hartley-John Tortorella rivalry, with the latest installment set to take place tonight in Columbus as Hartley’s Flames battle Tortorella’s Blue Jackets.
This morning, Hartley provided the first bit of theatrics.
Bollig (who leads the club with four fights) has only played in six of Calgary’s last 20 games and Engelland (second to Bollig in fighting majors) 14 of the last 20, so make of those decisions what you will.
Right now, Columbus’ only lineup change for tonight is re-inserting Scott Hartnell following his healthy scratch. But in light of what Hartley’s done, it’ll be interesting to see how Tortorella responds.
Back in 2014, Tortorella — then the coach in Vancouver — received a 15-day suspension for attacking Hartley following a game-opening line brawl between the Canucks and Flames. Hartley was fined $25,000 for his choice of starters that night: Kevin Westgarth and Brian McGrattan who, at the time, were two of the NHL’s most active enforcers.
Prior to tonight’s game, Tortorella expressed remorse over how he conducted himself back in Vancouver.
“I didn’t like what happened at the beginning of the game, and it was absolute stupidity how I went about it,” he explained, per the Dispatch. “My heart was in the right place, but my mind … it’s inexcusable and I’m totally embarrassed by it.”
Hartley doesn’t seem to be similarly shaken by the incident.
Last postseason, he was again fined for player selection in the opening round against Vancouver, a $50,000 punishment for his involvement in a end-of-game brawl.